Turkish Stem Cell Bank makes first international transplant
ISTANBULThe Health Ministry-sponsored Turkey Stem Cell Coordination Center (TÜRKÖK), which brings together bone marrow donors and receivers, conducted its first international cell transplantation on Aug. 4 after a baby receiver in India matched with a Turkish donor, daily Habertürk reported on Oct. 7.
Founded by the Health Ministry and run by the Turkish Red Crescent, TÜRKÖK’s first international transplantation was completed successfully after a 27-year-old man from the northwestern province of Sakarya, who had previously registered himself as a donor, gave his consent for the Health Ministry-approved transplant.
The operation on the two-year-old Indian baby, who suffered from immune failure and who was waiting for a match after an unsuccessful scanning of 22 million donors from 57 countries, was conducted on Aug. 4 in India. The baby is now reported to be in a good condition.
“God willing, he will soon reach his health. I want to meet with the family after two years. Everybody should be donors,” the donor, identified by the initials İ.Ö., was quoted by Habertürk as saying.
According to the procedures followed by TÜRKÖK, donors can communicate with the receiver side through letters for the first year after the transplantation. These letters cannot include names, addresses, telephone numbers, or city names. However, two years after the transplantation, the donors are allowed to communicate with the receiver side directly if the two parties consent.
After the first transplantation, another stem cell delivery was carried out by TÜRKÖK when a Belgian patient with lymphoma matched with a donor from the western province of İzmir on Aug. 18.
TÜRKÖK has so far collected 165,000 donors and carried out around 160 domestic transplantations. After it joined the World Stem Cell Bank in April, TÜRKÖK received applications from 54 patients, 40 of whom matched with the bank’s donors.
The top age range among donors is 28-30, while 64.8 percent of donors are male.