Stem cell transplantation is the only way to cure leukemia, a malignant disease of the blood. With the advancement of medicine, stem cells are no longer extracted directly from the bone marrow, but are obtained from the blood.
Photo: Shutterstock / Kateryna Kon
This is a special type of voluntary donation, and there are ten times fewer donors in Serbia than is needed.
Subotin resident Melinda Tot Demek has been cured of acute, life-threatening leukemia. He explained to the media how is the cure for this disease.
“The treatment of acute leukemia is a very difficult and time-consuming process. Thank God, I had a donor, my brother, who could give me stem cells, and the probability that they correspond between siblings is only 25 percent. .A small percentage .I would like all people to register in the stem cell donor registry, ”says Melinda Tot Demek of the Association for the Fight against Acute Leukemia LEUKA.
Melinda adds that people, unfortunately, always think that they are literally taken from bone donor cells and transplanted to a sick person, but this is no longer the case, everything is done because of blood.
People who want to register must go to their transfusion station to express their wishes. A blood test was then taken and she was sent to Belgrade to the Transfusion Institute. Here, the so-called HLA registration is made and the donor is entered in the National Register. If a person appears to need stem cells, and a genetic match is established with the donor from the registry, then the procedure is initiated.
“So, nothing hurts, except for a small needle point when you draw blood. If a match is found, then the donor’s situation is examined in detail, which must be one hundred percent healthy. Five days before of the transplant, the donor goes through the preparation, i.e. receiving injections that in some way “expel” the stem cells from the bones into the bloodstream. Then follows a transplant, ”explains Melinda Tot Demek.
Currently there are only about 9,000 registered donors in Serbia, which is very little compared to the needs.