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Bone Marrow Transplants

The National Marrow Donor Program and Be The Match Registry

Creating connections. Saving lives.

Founded in 1987 by the federal government, the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and its Be The Match Registry are nonprofit organizations dedicated to creating an opportunity for all patients to receive the bone marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant they need, when they need it.


Every year, thousands of people of all ages are diagnosed with leukemia and other life-threatening diseases. Many of them will die unless they get a bone marrow or cord blood transplant from a matching donor. Seventy percent of people do not have a donor in their family and depend on the Be The Match Registry to find a match to save their lives.


Be The Match Registry has grown to 9 million donors and nearly 145,000 umbilical cord blood units, the largest and most racially and ethnically diverse registry of its kind in the world. Medical advances are making marrow and umbilical cord blood transplants available to more patients all the time. Since 1987, more than 43,000 transplants have provided patients a second chance at life. Today, Be The Match facilitates more than 5,200 transplants a year.

To help people of every racial and ethnic background live longer, healthier lives, the registry:

  • Offers people the unique opportunity to save a life through Be The Match.
  • Adds more members and donated umbilical cord blood to its Be The Match Registry every day.
  • Supports patients with resources and services to reduce barriers to transplant and improve their quality of life after transplant.
  • Educates doctors about transplant advances and patient care after transplant.
  • Conducts and supports cutting-edge research to advance the science of transplant.
  • Helps any eligible family who may benefit from a related donor cord blood transplant.
  • Develops innovative tools, systems, and services to increase the number of patients served.

More information at


Latest NIH Research

  • Working together for better transplant outcomes
    Researchers keep working to learn more about the best treatments to improve outcomes for transplant patients. The National Marrow Donor Program conducts and supports research to help more patients get a transplant and to improve transplant results. Research is also conducted by two affiliate organizations, the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR), at; and the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMT CTN). These are funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

    Sixteen core clinical medical centers and other centers conduct the transplant trials. You can learn more about the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network at the BMT CTN Web site,
  • Patients helping patients
    The medical advances that help transplant patients today were gained with the help of transplant patients of the past. New drugs and treatment approaches are developed through patients’ participation in clinical trials and studies of treatment results over time.

    As a patient, you will likely have chances to be part of both types of research. You may be asked to think about joining a clinical trial for a new drug or some other part of your treatment. Your doctor may also ask permission to share the results of your transplant with the NMDP and the CIBMTR. For either type of research, you will be included only if you agree (give informed consent).

    The NMDP and CIBMTR and other researchers publish the results of their studies in medical journals. Doctors then use the information to better treat patients. Being part of a clinical trial may not help you directly, but it is an important way for doctors to gain knowledge that may help future patients.


Read More "Bone Marrow Transplants" Articles

“Another Possibility at Life” / What Happens During a Bone Marrow Transplant? / The National Marrow Donor Program and Be The Match Registry

Summer 2011 Issue: Volume 6 Number 2 Page 17