Why did I receive an email about special tissue characteristics?
Whether or not a stem cell donor matches a patient depends on their HLA characteristics. HLA characteristics occur in a wide range of variations, which in turn occur at various frequencies across the population. Many patients can already find a matching stem cell donor, but for those with less common characteristics it is much more difficult.
DKMS is trying to improve the situation for patients with rarer HLA characteristics by running a targeted initiative. Tissue characteristics are hereditary, so the chances of finding rare combinations are highest within the patient’s family, especially among immediate relatives but also among second-degree relatives.
You received our email about special tissue characteristics because your HLA characteristics are rare, so donors like you and your family members are exactly what we need. We would greatly appreciate it, if you could encourage your eligible family members to also sign up as a donor.
It is important to remember that rare combinations of tissue characteristics do not affect your health in any way.