Stem cell donation – What advice can be given to the donor?


Derwood Pamphilon, Consultant Haematologist, NHS Blood and Transplant, North Bristol Park, Northway, Filton, Bristol BS34 7QH, UK. E-mail:


Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is widely used to treat patients with a range of haematological and non-haematological disorders. Both bone marrow and peripheral blood stem cell collection are associated with morbidity and, very rarely, mortality. We investigated the information that exists to adequately inform donors about the relative merits of each procedure. We carried out a systematic review analysing data from six prospective randomised controlled trials of related donors and discuss here the merits and drawbacks of this approach. Registry data mostly describes patient outcome but stem cell donor registries collect and report information on unrelated donors which could easily be extended to related donors. Further well-designed, randomised studies are required.