Ethnic Minorities Face Unique Challenges to Find a Match
Bone marrow donations must be matched to very specific genetic markers which are overwhelmingly more likely to appear in donors of the same race/ethnicity1. Due to the low numbers of minorities registered as donors, patients from ethnic minority groups have a harder time locating a suitable donor.
The likelihood of a caucasian patient finding a suitable donor in the bone marrow registry is 93%. The likelihood of a minority patient finding a suitable donor in the bone marrow registry is between 66-73%, depending on the specific ethnicity.2
While it's difficult to know exactly what causes this disparity, we have some guesses.
- "The Need for Donors." http://marrow.org/Get_Involved/Grow_the_Registry/The_Need_for_Donors.aspx
- Statistics provided directly from Be The Match.