16 August 2013

Register against Cancer

A database of bone marrow donors is being created in St. Petersburg

Viktor Kostyukovsky, Special Correspondent of RusfondToday on the website rusfond.ru The agreement of the St. Petersburg State Medical University (SPbSMU) named after Academician I.P. Pavlov and the Rusfond on cooperation in the organization of the register of bone marrow donors has been published.

The register is being created at the R.M. Gorbacheva Research Institute of Pediatric Oncology, Hematology and Transplantology, subordinate to the University. With the publication of the agreement, Rusfond opens a new program "Register against Cancer".

We will not appropriate other people's laurels: we are not the first on this path. Over the years, several medical and scientific institutions, organizations, and even individual citizens, including parents of children who died from leukemia, have tried to create a Russian register, there have been at least twenty such attempts. And the Gorbacheva Research Institute itself already has a database of about a thousand donors, created by the enthusiasm of scientists, doctors, as well as ascetics from the St. Petersburg charitable foundation AdVita. Moreover, this small register can be considered valid, since several donors have already been found with its help, and the cells of four of them have even been transplanted to patients.

Much has been written and said about the need to create a national registry of bone marrow donors. Recall the main thing. Bone marrow transplantation (TCM) from an unrelated donor remains one of the most effective means of combating blood cancer, which is diagnosed annually in about five thousand Russian children. The cost of finding and receiving a transplant from a donor from foreign registries ranges from €18,000 to €30,000 in the European Union and $40,000 – $50,000 in the USA. And at the same time, often such a search (in about 40-50 cases out of 100) ends in failure, this is due to the multinational population of Russia and a large variety of genes responsible for tissue compatibility. So the register of donors in Russia is necessary for our children with blood cancer, as doctors say, for vital indications.

How does our attempt to create a register differ from the previous ones?

First, we intend to attract society and the people to it – our readers, viewers, donors. The experience of creating some national registers, for example, the Czech one, speaks about the effectiveness of this approach. The donations collected by Rusfond for this program will be the basis for financing the case.

Secondly, we intend to put the case on a solid scientific and technical basis, which is tissue typing (determination of the so-called HLA genotype of patients and donors for compatibility selection) according to the most modern international standards. To do this, at the very first stage, the Rusfond intends to help the St. Petersburg University. Pavlov will purchase the device necessary for solving this problem, called a sequencer, and the university will allocate a room for it and a staff of employees.

Third, we call for cooperation between institutions and organizations, business structures, citizens who understand the importance of the task and share our principles. Let's join forces on the basis of the R.M. Gorbacheva Research Institute, whose clinic has a high international reputation, is accredited by the European Group on TCM for Stem Cell sampling and transplants.

Rusfond will regularly inform our readers about the progress of work on the program and the growth in the number of donors in the register. We have decided not to use such definitions as Russian, national yet. Let's call the register being created Petersburg. We will make a large, modern, efficient register – then it will become truly national.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru16.08.2013

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