MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. April 28, 2018
Each year, thousands of patients battling blood cancers and other life-threatening diseases need a blood stem cell transplant to save their lives. Seventy percent of patients do not have a fully matched donor in their family and rely on the national Be The Match Registry® to find a match. However, the chance of having a fully matched, available donor on the Be The Match Registry ranges from 23 to 77 percent, depending on ethnic background. Many patients have no match.
C. Randal Mills, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Be The Match®, is leading the organization in its effort to change these odds for patients. His presentation at Unite to Cure: The Fourth International Vatican Conference – How Science, Technology and 21st Century Medicine Will Impact Culture and Society, helped fulfill a conference goal to increase the number of registrants on the Be The Match Registry by bringing the challenge of finding a suitably matched donor for transplant to an international audience.
“Be The Match is able to provide a cure for cancer, specifically blood cancer, and other life-threatening diseases, but only when a match is available,” Mills said. “By increasing participation in the registry, we can increase our chances of finding a suitably matched donor for people of all ethnic backgrounds. The diversity and influence of the participants at this meeting make it an ideal venue to substantially advance our message and our mission.”
For patients of diverse ethnic backgrounds, it is particularly challenging to find a fully matched, available donor on the Be The Match Registry due to the sheer genetic diversity of each group. Matching the tissue types of patients to donors is a complex process, far more complex than matching blood types. Currently, nearly 20 percent of the total Be The Match Registry membership is ethnically diverse, but that’s not enough. Be The Match is continually striving to diversify the registry to deliver life-saving cures to more patients around the world.
“We’re excited to have Be The Match join us at Unite To Cure,” said Dr. Smith, President of the Cura Foundation. “Their mission aligns perfectly with our vision for this event. It’s incredibly important that we raise public awareness of the many powerful therapies that can help address suffering on a global scale. We stand along-side Randy and his team on this important journey to hope and healing.”
Unite to Cure: The Fourth International Vatican Conference is a collaboration between the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, the Cura Foundation and the STQQ Foundation. The conference unites the world’s thought leaders across all disciplines to engage in conversation about the future of medicine. By convening leading decision makers in health care, business, media, medicine, advocacy and faith, the conference seeks to increase investment in research and innovation, encourage multidisciplinary collaboration and help grow healthy communities through prevention, education and better access to health care. This year’s attendees include individuals from the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Harvard Medical School and other well-respected health organizations.
To learn more about Unite to Cure: The Fourth International Vatican Conference, please visit: http://vaticanconference2018.com. Or, you can follow the event on Twitter @CuraFdn and on Facebook at facebook.com/TheCuraFoundation, and join the conversation with #UnitetoCure.
To learn more about Be The Match and how to help patients in need of a blood stem cell transplant, visit https://bethematch.org/support-the-cause/.
About Be The Match®
For people with life-threatening blood cancers—like leukemia and lymphoma—or other diseases, a cure exists. Be The Match connects patients with their donor match for a life-saving marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant. People can contribute to the cure as a member of the Be The Match Registry®, financial contributor or volunteer. Be The Match provides patients and their families one-on-one support, education, and guidance before, during and after transplant.
Be The Match is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP), a nonprofit organization that matches patients with donors, educates health care professionals and conducts research through its research program, CIBMTR® (Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research®), so more lives can be saved. To learn more about the cure, visit BeTheMatch.org or call 1 (800) MARROW-2.
About The Cura Foundation
The Cura Foundation leads a major global health movement, with the passionate purpose to improve human health. Cura units public and private sectors, partnering with doctors, patients, business leaders, philanthropists and thought leaders to collaborate and create breakthroughs around the world. The foundation drives change by raising awareness of scientific advancements in genomics, emerging technologies and big data to usher in the future of medicine. Cura helps people live longer, better lives free of suffering. The Cura Foundation is a nonsectarian, nonpartisan, public and tax-exempt organization under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For more information, please visit https://thecurafoundation.org.
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