Despite all efforts, we are still unable to identify an HLA-identical donor in time for every patient. For this particular circumstance, we have developed a transplantation procedure in which parents can act as stem cell donors for their children.
Half of each child's HLA genes come from the father and half from the mother. Parents' HLA markers thus match half of their children’s. Therefore, they are half (“haplo”) identical.
The major advances of the past 10 years now permit modification of the stem cell graft by removing the undesirable cells using antibodies. Parents can now act as stem cell donors for their children even though they actually "do not match."
The development of this procedure renders stem cell transplantation an option for every patient.