Race Matters When a Patient Needs a Stem Cell or Marrow Transplant

Washington Post contributor Arthur Allen wrote an article about the importance of adding more diverse members to the national Be The Match Registry. Allen highlighted the story of Anthony Thomas, an African American leukemia patient searching for a bone marrow donor. Thomas was recently in Washington, D.C., for Be The Match's Legislative Day, where he shared his personal story in hopes of inspiring the continued congressional support of Be The Match. The article also focused on Nina Louie, a searching patient whose campaign to find a bone marrow donor has recruited more than 8,000 potential bone marrow donors, many of whom share her Asian heritage.

Be The Match CEO Dr. Jeffrey Chell explained that tissue types used for matching patients with donors are inherited, which is why patients are most likely to find a match within their own racial or ethnic heritage. Ultimately, Chell noted, a more diverse registry will help save more lives.