Jul 3, 2014, 12:21 PM
News Code: 2720157
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Mashhad stem cell bank to facilitate transplants

Tehran, July 3, IRNA - Researchers at Mashhad Medical University in northeastern Iran have established a bank of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-typed stem cells, said an official.

Dr. Ali Qasemi, a faculty member of the university and the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at Mashhad’s Montaserieh Hospital, added that volunteers who want to donate stem cells could visit http://researches.mums.ac.ir/sites/stemcell/Lists/List/newform.aspx, for more information, 'Iran Daily' reported in its Thursday edition.

Patients have undergone successful allogeneic and autologous stem cell transplants in the hospital since 2012.

In allogeneic transplants, stem cells come from another person and in autologous transplants, patients receive their own stem cells.

Human stem cells are a promising source for transplantation to replace diseased or damaged tissue, but their differentiated progeny express human leucocyte antigens (HLAs) that will probably cause graft rejection.

Qasemi explained that to improve the chance of a successful stem cell transplant and to lower the risk of complications, the donor’s stem cells need to match the recipient’s as closely as possible.

A process called HLA typing makes sure that the donor and recipient are closely matched.

The creation of a bank of HLA-typed stem cells, from which a best match could be selected, would help reduce the likelihood of graft rejection.

Everyone has a set of proteins called human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) on the surface of their cells. These antigens help the body’s immune system tell what belongs in the body and what doesn’t.

For a stem cell transplant to work, the recipient’s immune system must think that the new stem cells belong so that it doesn’t try to destroy them. The higher the number of antigens that both the donor and the recipient share, the better the chance that the recipient’s body will accept the donated stem cells