Race/ethnicity affects the probability of finding an HLA-A, -B, -C and -DRB1 allele-matched unrelated donor and likelihood of subsequent transplant utilization.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Bone marrow transplantation (2012)


August 2012, Clinical Research Division


Factors relevant to finding a suitable unrelated donor and barriers to effective transplant utilization are incompletely understood. Among a consecutive series of unrelated searches (n=531), an 8/8 HLA-A, -B, -C and -DRB1-matched unrelated donor was available for 289 (54%) patients, 7/8 for 159 (30%) and no donor for 83 (16%). Patients of Caucasian race (P<0.0001) were more likely to find a donor. Younger age (P=0.01), Caucasian race (P=0.03), lower CIBMTR (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplantation Research) risk (P=0.005), and 8/8 HLA matching (P=0.005) were associated with higher odds of reaching hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). In a univariate analysis of OS, finding a donor was associated with hazard ratio (HR) of 0.85 (95% CI 0.63-1.2), P=0.31. Karnofsky performance status (KPS) accounted for interaction between having a donor and survival. Patients with KPS 90-100 and a donor had significantly reduced hazard for death (HR 0.59, 95% CI 0.38-0.90, P=0.02). These data provide estimates of the probability to find an unrelated donor in the era of high-resolution HLA typing, and identify potentially modifiable barriers to reaching HCT. Further efforts are needed to enhance effective donor identification and transplant utilization, particularly in non-Caucasian ethnic groups.Bone Marrow Transplantation advance online publication, 6 August 2012; doi:10.1038/bmt.2012.150.