Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide

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Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide
Industry Health Care
Founded Leiden, NL 1986
Headquarters Leiden, NL

Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMDW) is an organization based in Leiden, Netherlands, that coordinates the collection of the HLA phenotypes and other relevant data of volunteer hematopoietic cell donors (used to perform what used to be called bone marrow transplants, but now referred as hematopoietic cell transplants) and cord blood units across the globe.

The start of BMDW[edit]

BMDW was born in 1986 with its office in Leiden (the Netherlands). The BMDW Editorial Board consists of one representative of each stem cell donor registry or cord blood bank participating in BMDW, and meets twice a year to discuss achievements and necessary improvements.

Present Day[edit]

On 1st January 2017 BMDW merged with NetCord and has become a service of the World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA). For the last two years prior to the merger, the three organisations had been working closely together and the merger was a natural move to work towards high-quality stem cell products worldwide for patients in need of a transplant.

Joining BMDW database requires a registry to be fully operational, and must have at least 50 HLA-typed unrelated stem cell donors or cord blood units. For further details on how to become part of the BMDW registry database visit "Registry requirements" on the BMDW website.

To facilitate the exchange of information and improve business relations, the WMDA provides access to contact data of organisations that are listing donors or cord blood products in the global database of Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide.


The BMDW is the world's largest hematopoietic cell database, listing more than 29.5 million stem cell donors and over 721,289 cord blood units. BMDW participants comprise of 75 hematopoietic cell donor registries from 53 countries, and 53 cord blood banks from 36 countries. For further details on the number of Donors/Cord Blood Units (CBU) per registry within the BMDW database click here.

These global hematopoietic cells from donors or cord blood units are used to transplant patients around the world with a variety of with life-threatening blood disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, aplastic anemia, as well as certain immune system and metabolic disorders.

Services provided by BMDW[edit]

  • Search & Match tool: The BMDW provides a fast preliminary search tool to find the best matched stem cell donor or cord blood unit for a patient in need of a transplant. The BMDW database is only searchable by authorized transplanting physicians and search coordinators around the world. The tool is primarily intended for use by professionals in the field of stem cell transplantation with profound knowledge of HLA, such as search coordinators and transplant physicians from transplant centres, stem cell donor registries, and cord blood banks. There are currently 850 users authorized to perform online searches.

Mission statement[edit]

BMDW's mission is to create a comprehensive, fair, and equitable global list of unrelated stem cell donors and cord blood products that shall allow fast determination of whether a matched donor is available for a patient in need of a hematopoietic stem cell transplant.

The purpose of BMDW still remains the same, to collect the HLA phenotypes of volunteer stem cell donors and cord blood units and to co-ordinate their worldwide distribution. To summarise BMDW's purpose is:

  • To build, provide, maintain, and optimise an (electronic) databank with centralised data on HLA (human leucocyte antigen) phenotypes and other relevant data of volunteer stem cell donors and cryopreserved cord blood products and make these data accessible to the physicians, search coordinators, and other parties worldwide who search for a potential match for their patient;
  • To do and perform all other acts and things which in the broadest sense relate or may be conducive to the foresaid purpose

Other useful information and publications[edit]

  • BMDW Annual Report Statistics 2015
  • 2016 - Powley L, et al. Consideration of noninherited maternal Ags as permissible HLA mismatches in cord blood donor selection "Bone Marrow Transplantation 51: 675-679". 2015 - Gratwohl A, et al. One million hematopoietic stem-cell transplants: a retrospective observational study. Lancet Hematology "Volume 2, No. 3, e91-e100".

External links[edit]

  • Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMDW)
  • World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA)
  • World Marrow Donor Day (WMDD)