The Department of Coordination for Transplantation of the Catholic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Bank acts as a mediator among the donors, patients, collection center, and transplantation center. It coordinates the entire procedure for internal/external patients who are in need of a transplantation of unrelated hematopietic stem cells including Cord Blood from the matching of HLA of patients and donors to the actual transplantation.

[Procedures of Coordination for Transplantations]

1. Search Request
If you register as a volunteer donor of hematopoietic stem cells, your HLA data will be registered at the Korean Network for Organ Sharing(KONOS) and when there is a patient who is in need of a hematopoietic stem cell transplant, the Department of Coordination for Transplantation will be requested to search for a volunteer donor whose HLA coincides with the patient.

  1. Domestic Search
    A donation seeker whose HLA coincides with that of the patient will be searched.
  2. International search
    If there are no domestic volunteer donor whose HLA matches the patient, an International matched donor data will be searched through BMDW(Bone Marrow Donor Worldwide).
  3. Search for cord blood units
    If there are no donors matching HLA , HLA that matches the cord blood units will be searched, especially for children.

2. Coordination
If the transplant center asks for a search request, Volunteer donors registered at the Korean Network for Organ Sharing(KONOS) who match the patient will be coordinated. Volunteer donor will be contacted by the personal information they wrote down during the registration procedure. A coordinator will explain the donation process and matters of attention by stages in detail and check whether the volunteer donor wants to make a donation or not.

3. In-depth HLA Examination
Volunteer donor who had been contacted and agree to the donation, will go through an HLA examination and be lastly tested if he/she can perform the transplantation through this examination.

4. Medical Checkup
Donors who match patients closely enough to donate their HLAs will have a medical checkup. The reason why they should have a medical checkup is to check if their overall physical conditions are suitable for the donation and if they have any non-beneficial immunological factors towards the patients.

5. Ways to Donate Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  1. Bone Marrow Donation Hematopoietic stem cells will be extracted from the pelvic bones after a general anesthesia and the donor will leave the hospital two to three days after recovery.
  2. Donation of Peripheral Hematopoietic Stem Cells Starting from three to five days before the donation, the donor should be injected with white blood cells accelerators under the skin once every day to mobilize hematopoietic stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells will be extracted by the same way of donating blood and the donor will leave the hospital two to three days after recovery.

6. Follow-up administration and the Protection of Donors
The donor may withdraw his intention for donation at any stage of the donation process. He/she will have a recovery test within 7-14 days of donation to check his/her recovery conditions. The donor will not be responsible for any expenses occurred during the donation procedure and also he/she will not be rewarded in any way. Moreover, based on the law of organ transplantation by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, personal data of donors and patients will be strictly administered under high security.

  • Self Hematopoietic Stem Cells Transplantations
    Patients suffering from certain types of solid cancer including acute leukemia, malignant lymphoma, breast cancer and etc. may have a autologous marrow transplantation. Most of the patients are injected with hematopoietic stimulating factors until white blood cells recover after they are examined to have no cancer cells within the bone marrow and receive treatments for cancer. They will be observed on their increase of hematopoietic stem cells in their peripheral blood everyday through blood tests and their hematopoietic stem cells will be extracted at the blood donation room at an appropriate time. Usually, they are extracted for two to three days and are frozen until the transplantation.

  • Transplantation of the Same Type of Hematopoietic Stem Cells between Siblings
    In order to transplant the same type of hematopoietic stem cells, the patient should have a sibling of histocompatibility antigens. If there is an adequate donor among the patient’s siblings, he/she will be able to undergo the transplantation after a medical checkup.

  • Transplantation of unrelated hematopietic stem cells
    If there are no donors among siblings or families who have histocompatibility antigens, the patient should seek for an adequate unrelated hematopietic stem cell . First, we will search for a domestic donor who has histocompatibility antigens matching the patient and if he/she consents to the donation, he/she will have an in-depth examination, reconfirm the accordance of the histocompatibility, and lastly decide whether he/she will undergo the transplantation. If the donor decides to undergo the transplantation, he/she will have a medical checkup to reconfirm his physical conditions.

  • Transplantation of Hematopoietic Stem Cells in the Cord Blood
    Transplantation of Cord Blood using hematopoietic stem cells which exist in the placenta and umbilical cord and are thrown away after delivery is widely performed throughout the world. Transplantation of Cord Blood is applicable even in cases where the patient and donor have different HLA genes and it can be immediately used when the transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease rarely occurs and the transplantation is in urgent need. Cord Blood can be obtained in two ways; it can be extracted from the sibling’s placenta and umbilical cord after birth or it can be collected from the placenta and umbilical cord of irrelevant others after their delivery. As cord blood stem cells are immature immunologically, even if the patient and donor have different HLAs, transfusion-associated graft-versus-host disease hardly/rarely occurs and the patient can live a high quality life. However, children or adults of great weight may not be able to use this method