British Bone Marrow Registry

We have over 300,000 donors who are willing to donate their stem cells to patients having treatment for conditions such as leukaemia. Donors come from the British Bone Marrow Registry and the NHS Cord Blood Bank, both of which we run.

Our aim is to increase the number of donors available to patients – especially for the 65-75% of those in need who are unable to find a match in a sibling. We work with registers all over the world (on which there are over 13 million donors) to make this possible.

In the UK we work with the Anthony Nolan charity to provide a single point of access for UK transplant centres searching for stem cell donors and cord blood donations. Together we aim to create a UK cord blood inventory of 50,000 donors to increase the chances of finding a suitable match for those in need.

Bone marrow donor

We aim to bank an additional 2,300 cord blood donations each year by further developing our 24/7 collection operation and carry out high resolution HLA typing of 10,000 selected adult volunteer donors to reduce the time taken to provide stem cells for transplantation and as a result improve patient outcomes.

The British Bone Marrow Registry (BBMR) holds details of around 300,000 blood donors who have volunteered to donate stem cells for patients who need them. They do this by giving a small extra sample of blood with their donation which is 'tissue-typed' and added to the register.

The BBMR holds details of stem cell donors and cord blood donations from England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. It is responsible for recruiting, testing and registering blood donors who volunteer to become stem cell donors. It is also part of an international network, performing searches around the world to find suitable stem cell donors.

You need to be aged 17-40 years old (registered before your 41st birthday), male and be a blood donor. We also accept females, within the same age range, from Black, Asian, minority ethnicities and mixed ethnicity backgrounds.

These criteria reflect the donors that we are short of on the BBMR. All of our donors are made available for search on the Anthony Nolan and NHS Stem Cell Registry. For those who wish to become a stem cell donor and do not meet our recruitment criteria, opportunities exist to join one of our other partners who make up the Anthony Nolan and NHS Stem Cell Registry; either Anthony Nolan or Delete Blood Cancer UK. Donors in Wales may consider the Welsh Bone Marrow Donor Registry.

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