Project Lead(s): Solomon Yap
Millions of people are on bone marrow donor registries worldwide.
However, up to 60% of registered donors opt out before donation, and there is a severe shortage of donors among minority groups in developed nations.
The primary reason for opting out and the shortage of minority donors is attributable to their concerns about the health risks associated with bone marrow donation.
The project sought to develop a revolutionary, less invasive method of obtaining donor cells for bone marrow transplantation (BMT), whereby donor cells are obtained through simply drawing blood. This approach eliminates the risks, adverse health effects, concerns and inconvenience associated with the traditional process of bone marrow donation.
In this donation process, cells are obtained with a simple, single extraction of 40ml (equivalent to three tablespoons) of peripheral blood, similar to taking blood during routine testing.
Donor cells for BMT were successfully generated from non-mobilized, non-apheresis blood samples.
In addition, sickle cell individuals and bone marrow transplant candidates were identified and recruited as part of the initial work of the project.
However, the project was not completed, due to a number of administrative delays.
The Principal Investigator intends to pursue the project in the future.