Seven hundred seventy bone marrow transplants were performed in Brazil between January and August of this year. This represents 143, or 22%, more transplants than were performed last year during the same period.
According to the tally presented by the Brazilian Minister of Health, Humberto Costa, it is estimated that 1,150 such transplants will be performed this year.
Compare this to the more than 15,000 bone marrow transplants that are done annually in the United States. mainly for the treatment of leukemias, lymphomas Hodgkin’s disease and multiple myeloma.
The number of registered donors in Brazil practically doubled, from 45 thousand in 2003 to 83 thousand in 2004.
The Minister recalled that the search for international donors will be made easier through the incorporation of the National Registry of Bone Marrow Donors (Redome) with the World Marrow Donor Association, the global reciprocal network of bone marrow donors. This should occur by the end of this year.
He also underscored the increase from five to 18 in the total of hospital beds for bone marrow transplants in the country. This number should grow to 25 by the end of the year.
According to Costa, 39 institutions in 11 Brazilian states are authorized to perform this type of transplant, and five others are in the process of being approved by the National Transplant System (SNT).
“These positive figures are the result of the serious effort that was made to provide greater acess to [organ] donations, the larger investment of financial resources, and a coordinated endeavor between the Ministry of Health, the National Cancer Institute (Inca), and the scientific community,” he remarked.
The presentation of these figures is part of the commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the first bone marrow transplant performed by the Inca. 916 patients are currently on the transplant waiting list. 803 of them are looking for compatible donors.
Translator: David Silberstein