When a transplant doctor is searching to find the best possible donor for a patient, they need the best information. Earlier this year, we launched a new version of our algorithm that sorts donors and cord blood units in a way that helps doctors quickly figure out which are likely to match the patient. Those with the highest likelihood to match are listed first. What this means is that few donors may need to be contacted for testing and that donors or cord blood units can be located far more quickly—critical when there is a patient waiting for a transplant.
The enhanced algorithm, called HaplogicSM III, will advance our mission to help more patients in need of a transplant. Transplant doctors and their patients are benefiting in very significant ways, including:
- Improved matching predictions using 10 markers: Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing is used to match patients and donors for marrow transplants. The enhanced algorithm now predicts a match on 10 HLA markers, compared with six with the previous version.
- Enhanced matching precision with detailed race groups: HLA markers used in matching are inherited from your parents, so some combinations of HLA markers are more common in particular racial and ethnic groups than others. That is why people are more likely to match someone with similar ancestry. Haplogic III now uses greatly expanded data about the frequency of HLA in 18 specific U.S. race and ethnicity groups to predict the best matches.
- More clinically relevant sort order: Potential donors are now sorted by HLA type, with the 10/10 donors at the top of the donor list and all other close matches ranked by the number of HLA markers that match between the patient and the potential donor. This sorting helps transplant doctors to rapidly pinpoint any suitable donors or cord blood units even if they are not a perfect 10/10 match.
Haplogic III was developed by a project team of more than 125 people across the organization.