DKMS Stem Cell Bank Enhances Stem Cell Transplantation with New Cryopreservation Facilities

Innovative cryopreservation methods significantly speed up blood cancer treatments for patients worldwide.

DKMS Stem Cell Bank Enhances Stem Cell Transplantation with New Cryopreservation Facilities
(Photo credit: idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)
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  • New DKMS Stem Cell Bank in Dresden established for improved stem cell storage.
  • Cryopreserved Adult Donor Cryopreserved Units (ADCUs) available globally for faster transplantation.
  • Reduced transplantation wait time to three days enhances patient survival chances.

DKMS, an international non-profit organization, has revolutionized hematopoietic stem cell transplantation by establishing advanced infrastructure for quicker and more efficient stem cell collection and storage. The centerpiece of this innovation is the DKMS Stem Cell Bank in Dresden, complemented by two new stem cell collection centers in Dresden and Cologne. This development aims to enhance the survival rates of blood cancer patients globally.

At the heart of this advancement lies the cryopreservation of surplus adult stem cells, termed Adult Donor Cryopreserved Units (ADCUs). These cells are readily available for global transplantation requests via the DKMS Registry and the Central Bone Marrow Donor Registry Germany (ZKRD). Unlike the traditional process, which can take weeks, the new system reduces the time from request to transplantation to just three days, significantly increasing the chances of successful treatment for patients in urgent need.

Dr. Elke Neujahr, Global CEO of DKMS Group, emphasized that this new infrastructure represents a crucial milestone in their mission to save lives. By allowing stem cell donors to potentially save two lives with one donation, the new system leverages donors’ ability to provide more cells than typically required for a single patient, storing the excess at -180°C in liquid nitrogen vapor.

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This unique approach, streamlined during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensures that stem cells are immediately available without additional burden on donors. As Dr. Alexander Platz, Medical Director of the DKMS Stem Cell Bank, noted, this method not only simplifies the donation process but also significantly broadens the availability of life-saving stem cells.

DKMS’s commitment extends beyond mere collection and storage. The organization has integrated a comprehensive network encompassing registration, collection, and follow-up care, with additional support from the DKMS Life Science Lab, the Clinical Trials Unit, and the Collaborative Biobank in Dresden. This robust infrastructure solidifies DKMS’s position as a global leader in unrelated blood stem cell transplants, continually improving patient outcomes through dedicated research and development efforts.