Who needs a stem cell transplant?

Adult holding baby's hand.

The last chance at recovery

Stem cell transplants are used to treat leukaemia and other malignant blood dyscrasias when all other methods have been exhausted.

The healthy stem cells collected from the voluntary donor are used to replace the patient’s unhealthy stem cells.

Read the story of a patient who received a stem cell transplant

Stem cell transplants are used when an aggressive and malignant blood disease cannot be treated using drug therapy and the patient’s life expectancy is low.

For one quarter of patients in need of a stem cell transplant, a suitable donor is found from among the patient’s immediate family. However, if a donor with the right tissue type cannot be found among the patient’s immediate family, the Stem Cell Registry is used to look for a suitable voluntary donor.

Number of patients

Every year, over 100 patients in Finland need the help of a voluntary stem cell donor. Approximately one in six are children.

Recovery rates

50–70 per cent of adults and 60–90 per cent of children who receive a stem cell transplant recover. The recovery rate of patients varies depending on the disease and initial situation.

The most common causes of death are relapse and complications during the stem cell transplantation process, such as infections and graft-versus-tumour effect.

A suitable donor cannot always be found

Currently, in Finland, an ideal stem cell donor cannot be found in one out of five cases. The more members the Stem Cell Registry has, the more likely each patient is to find a suitable donor.