HLA-Matched Unrelated Donors for Patients with Sickle Cell Disease: Results of International Donor Searches

Karina Tozatto-Maio, Margareth Afonso Torres, Neifi Hassan Saloum Degaide, Juliana Fernandes Cardoso, Fernanda Volt, Ana Cristina Silva Pinto, Danielli Oliveira, Hanadi Elayoubi, Simone Kashima, Pascale Loiseau, Hendrik Veelken, Alina Ferster, Barbara Cappelli, Evandra Strazza Rodrigues, Graziana Maria Scigliuolo, Chantal Kenzey, Annalisa Ruggeri, Vanderson Rocha, Belinda Pinto Simões, Ryad TamouzaEliane Gluckman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common inherited hemoglobinopathy. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) is the sole curative therapy for SCD, but few patients will have a matched sibling donor. Patients with SCD are mostly of African origin and thus are less likely to find a matched unrelated donor in international registries. Using HaploStats, we estimated HLA haplotypes for 185 patients with SCD (116 from a Brazilian center and 69 from European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation [EBMT] centers) and classified the ethnic origin of haplotypes. Then we assessed the probability of finding an HLA-matched unrelated adult donor (MUD), considering loci A, B, and DRB1 (6/6), in international registries. Most haplotypes were African, but Brazilians showed a greater ethnic admixture than EBMT patients. Nevertheless, the chance of finding at least one 6/6 potential allelic donor was 47% for both groups. Most potential allelic donors were from the US National Marrow Donor Program registry and from the Brazilian REDOME donor registry. Although the probability of finding a donor is higher than previously reported, strategies are needed to improve ethnic diversity in registries. Moreover, predicting the likelihood of having an MUD might influence SCD management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2034-2039
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • HLA
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Stem cell donor registry
  • Unrelated donor search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation


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