Campus - 02.05.2012 - 00:00
1 May 2012. Students of the HSG have launched an initiative for the benefit of people who suffer from leukaemia. In cooperation with the blood donation service of the Swiss Red Cross, the initiators will be running the drive for the second time. Every healthy person according to the general eligibility requirements between 18 and 55 will have an opportunity to have themselves registered, free of charge and anonymously, in an international database for blood stem cells by means of a saliva sample analysis.
Stem cells for leukaemia patients
People who suffer from leukaemia depend on compatible “healthy” stem cells in the current form of therapy. Owing to the enormous differences between stem cell types, however, the search for donors is extremely difficult. The international database in which potential donors are registered in an anonymised form, is intended to solve this problem. To increase the chance of a hit, the constant extension of the database is of crucial significance.
Great potential in Switzerland
“The backlog in Switzerland is enormous,” says HSG student Marius Geiker, a co-founder of the initiative. “In comparison with Germany, a very small part of the population has been typed – this means that there is a great potential for the database.” A typing drive was already run at the HSG last year. “This year, we do not only want to reach the students but also the employees of the University and St.Gallen’s general public,” says Geiker. With this drive, Geiker and some fellow students want to find new donors and make people more sensitive to the issue of leukaemia.
At an earlier drive run by the students, one person was typed who was able to help a leukaemia patient as a blood stem cell donor last year.
Picture: DKMS / “Gemeinsam gegen Leukämie” campaign
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