We would like to consider Bone Marrow Transplantation (BMT) to cure our child with thalassemia, but have no other children that could serve as bone marrow donors. What are our options?

Mother, father, and first-degree relatives could be matches, especially if the parents are related. However, while outcomes using a fully compatible mother or sibling are comperable, it is not clear if using a compatible father or non-immediate relative is better than using a partially compatible (haploidentical) mother (see pubblication). In fact, there is initial evidence that a so called haploidentical BMT, that is from a partially compatible family member, might be as good as that from a fully matched sibling. If this observation is confirmed as more experience is accumulated, than other more complex, costly and less safe alternatives like unrelated donors, cord blood banks or seeking further pregnancies to deliver a healthy matched sibling, may loose their value.

These answers have been prepared by:
- Dr. Lawrence Faulkner, Cure2Children medical team coordinator
- Dr. Sadaf Khalid, Cure2Children Pakistan branch coordinator