The first Chinese-white operation with stem cell transplantation is about to be performed in Denmark
Zhang Yi, a 23-year-old from Tianjin, has donated his hematopoietic stem cell to a white patient in Denmark, which is the first donation between a Chinese person and a white man, Chinese Xinhuanet reports.
Stem cells that form blood and immune cells are known as hematopoietic stem cells.
Zhang’s cell arrived at the city of Aarhus in Denmark at 3 p.m. (Beijing time) Friday last week for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).
“The success rate of a hematopoietic stem cell match between different races is extremely low,” said Song Ye, international coordinator of China Marrow Donor Program. “The success rate between identical siblings is only 25 percent, and the rate between people with no blood relationship drops to only one in 400 to 10,000.”
Song added, “Before this case, all the recipients of the 120 matching cases between Chinese donors and foreign patients were Asian people.”
Zhang’s hematopoietic stem cell was found to match with the Danish patient in April after a preliminary exam.
“According to staff from the marrow donor organization in Denmark, Zhang is the only donor who matches with the patient. Fortunately, after four months, the condition of the patient means they are still able to receive the transplant,” Song said.
Zhang, who has been on the marrow donor database since 2008, was surprised when he was informed that he could help a foreign patient.
Doctors of PLA Air Force General Hospital in Beijing collected Zhang’s hematopoietic stem cell twice on Wednesday and Thursday. The surgeries took up to four hours.
“I did some research before I went on the donor database and I know that donating my stem cell will not harm myself. I’ll be fine after a few days of rest,” Zhang said after his surgery.
“All we want is to see the Danish patient get well after the transplant,” Zhang said.
“China has reported more than 3,630 successful cases of HSCT, and donors are back to normal after one or two weeks. More people are joining the donor database,” Yang Yingying with the Tianjin branch of China Marrow Donor Program said.
China’s marrow donor system was set up in 1992, and it joined the world hematopoietic stem cell database in July 2012. A total of 1.69 million donors are applying to join the Chinese database. Information about 380,000 donors has been uploaded onto the world database.