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Blood stem cell transplants are used in the treatment of diseases like leukaemia. The purpose of a stem cell transplant is to replace the cancer patient’s malignant cells with healthy stem cells. In many cases, a stem cell transplant is the patient’s last hope when nothing else has worked.

Why don't you sign up to the Stem Cell Registry? Every new member in the Registry improves the odds of finding a suitable donor for all patients.

For a third of patients in need of a stem cell transplant, a suitable donor is found from among the patient’s immediate family, rendering an unnamed donor unnecessary. However, for many patients, no donor with a suitable tissue type can be found in the patient’s immediate family, whereby the international registry is searched for a suitable individual. The Finnish Red Cross Blood Service maintains the Finnish Stem Cell Registry, which contains information on volunteers who have committed to donating blood stem cells to patients in need of such cells.

Voluntary readiness to help

Members of the Registry commit to helping any patient in need, whether a child or adult, Finnish or foreign. Registry members cannot choose the recipients of their donations, since the choice of donor is primarily dictated by factors of tissue compatibility.

Signing up to the Registry and membership are based on a voluntary readiness to help. We hope that each person joining the register arrives at the decision to do so independently and only after careful consideration.

If you have already joined the Registry but cannot or do not want to donate stem cells, you should consider resigning your membership. It is essential that people in the Registry are committed and prepared to help if they are asked to do so. The patient can also be helped by telling the young people in his or her immediate circle about the need for stem cell donation and asking them to join.

​Facts about the Registry

• The Finnish Stem Cell Registry is part of the Finnish Red Cross Blood Service.

• The registry was established in 1992.

• The registry has approximately 35 000 members, two-thirds of whom are women.

• The average age of members is 40 years.

• The registry is part of a global registry with more than 25 million voluntary donor candidates.

• Around 20–40 Finnish people donate blood stem cells each year. The number of Finnish donors over the years has totalled more than 600 individuals.

• The Stem Cell Registry serves approximately 150 stem cell transplants to Finland and abroad every year.

• More than half of the patients who have received a stem cell transplant have recovered, thanks to the transplant.