The current pandemic situation has shown that today, more than ever, the necessity of having an ever increasing of new donors enrolled in the donors registry so that every patient waiting fro a bone marrow transplant can find their own compatible donor.
From the data of the bone marrow IBMDR donors register, from the beginning of september 2020 to the end of it, its has been da inizio 2020 a settembre 2020, ti has been found a drop in potential members with negative peaks of -60% due to COVID 19. The number of cancer patients or of those who wait for a transplant are always the same: on average, about 2000 patients a year wait for their donor to have a life expectancy; let’s remember that the compatibility is 1 in 100 000.
On November the 9th 2020, in support of the army of donors and transplant centers, the note from the Ministry of Health, General Directorate of Health Prevention, has arrived, which speaks of the primary need to guarantee and maintain the donation path in the emergency period. transplant as a life-saving therapy and Essential Level of Care.
ADMO (Marrow Bone Donors Association), with IBMDR, has decided to implement a new safe and easy enrollement mode: MATCH AT HOME.
What is MATCH AT HOME?
MATCH AT HOME it’s a real kit to enroll from home new potential marrow bone donors, with the self-collection of a salivary sample, in the middle of the covid pandemic.
Healthy young people from 18 to 35 years of age, who in this way will be able to save the life of those waiting for the marrow as the last hope of life.
How does MATCH AT HOME work?
The potential donor will be able to carry out the entire registration procedure at their home using the ADMO membership registration platform, connected directly to IBMDR (Italian Bone Marrow Donor Registry), receiving the salivary kit by mail, carrying out the collection assisted by an associative healthcare professional via video call and delivering the sample to the nearest collection point with an agreement with ADMO.
Where is MATCH AT HOME widespread?
For now the pilot project will be active in four regions: Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Piemonte, Liguria and Emilia-Romagna and will then be extended throughout Italy.
*Typing: only a small drop of blood or saliva is needed to derive your donor profile and add yourself to the IBMDR donor registry.
*Donation and Transplant: There are two different methods of donation, through which it is possible to take the hematopoietic stem cells from the donor, which are essential for the transplant. The choice of modality depends on your availability and on the possible indications of the transplantologist;
Peripheral blood sampling
This is the method most chosen by donors (8 out of 10 donations include this method).
In the fice days preceding the donation, a medicine is administered that promotes the growth of hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow and their passage into the circulating blood. This type of donation, referred to as apheresis, uses machinery known as “cell separators”: the blood taken from and arm passes through a sterile circuit and is conveyed in a centrifuge. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), a cellular component useful for transplantation, are isolated and collected in a bag, while the rest is reinfused in the opposite arm.
Iliac crest sampling from BONE MARROW (NOT spinal cord)
It consists in taking directly from the natural site of the bone marrow, ie the bones of the pelvis
To not feel any pain in the surgery, the donor is subjected to general or epidural anesthesia.
The surgery lasts about 45 minutes and, after the collection, the donor is normally kept under observation for the next 24/48 hours before being discharged and a precautionary rest period of 4-5 days is recommended. .
After harvesting, the harvested bone marrow spontaneously reconstitutes itself within 7-10 days. The donor may feel only a slight pain in the area of the collection, which will disappear within a few days.
"Despite all the unforeseen events caused by the pandemic in progress that forced us, in spite of ourselves, to suspend the major outdoor awareness initiatives nationwide during the year 2020, the desire to continue with more strenght and enthusiasm lies in the substratum of our Association, the optimism that makes us hope for better times, the desire to find ourselves and keep our country alive by taking up the challenge of facing the dark moments with the light of new projects, such as Match at Home, aimed at encouraging registrations of potential donors in order to meet the numerous requests for transplantation, in favor of oncohematological and non-oncological patients, who have not gone and will not go into lockdown ” .
Rita Malavolta, ADMO president