Faculty of Medicine

Josep Carreras Leukaemia Foundation funds study

Provided there is a suitable donor ready and waiting, a bone marrow transplant is often the last hope for patients with malignant diseases of the blood system. Scientists from the Faculty of Medicine are therefore looking into ways to improve the available selection of suitable donors further and reduce the risk of relapse. Their research project is being funded by the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Foundation with a grant of 320,000 euros. Every year, more than 15,000 people with the disease across Europe receive fresh blood stem cells, a fifth of whom live in Germany. If the bone marrow transplant is a success, the healthy immune system recognises the diseased leukaemia cells and, in the best case scenario, destroys them permanently. Finding a suitable donor, however, is a difficult process, as both the donor and recipient must have at least four tissue characteristics (HLA-A, B, C and DR) in common.