Improving the success rate of organ transplants

Diseases requiring bone marrow transplants, also called stem cell transplants, include leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell disease and aplastic anemia, as well as some immunodeficiencies. As part of the conditioning process to prepare the patient for the bone marrow transplant, the patient may be treated with total body irradiation (TBI). The purpose of TBI is to eliminate the underlying disease and to suppress the recipient's immune systems, thus preventing rejection of new donor stem cells. Once the conditioning treatment is complete, the patient receives the bone marrow transplant to restore healthy bone marrow function.

The problem of selecting an appropriate bone marrow donor will be investigated. The goal for donor selection is to employ data mining and statistical techniques to examine previous bone marrow transplants and their outcomes to determine donor selection criteria bearing a higher correlation to transplant success than the current selection criteria.