To achieve and maintain a position as an internationally recognized hematopoietic stem cell donor registry with respect to high quality of donor data base and HLA typing, providing individualised, rapid, and reliable services, smooth donor work-up and stem cell donation, and conscientious follow-up.

To achieve and maintain the position as an active participant in national and international collaboration with donor registries and transplant centers.

To quickly identify matched unrelated donors or cord blood units for patients in Denmark waiting for allogeneic HSC transplantation with an unrelated donor.


To maintain a data base of 35,000 – 40,000 or more HLA typed volunteer HSC donors recruited among blood donors in Danish blood banks in North Denmark Region, Central Denmark Region and the Region of Southern Denmark and to make these donors available for donation of HSCs and other cell types (e.g. lymphocytes) relevant for allogeneic HSC transplantation

To quickly identify, through national and worldwide donor and cord blood units searches, a matched HSC donor or umbilical cord blood unit for domestic patients awaiting an unrelated allogeneic HSC transplantation.

History and current organisation

Danish Stem Cell Donors-West (DSCD) was originally established as a cooperation between all blood banks in Denmark and the tissue typing laboratories and it was located at the Aarhus University Hospital. Later it was decided to establish an additional registry in Copenhagen, which covered patients and donors in the eastern part of Denmark. DSCD now recruits volunteer HSC donors in a cooperation between the blood banks in the North Region of Denmark, the Central Region of Denmark and the Region of southern Denmark. In addition to running the donor registry, DSCD has since its start performed search and selection of unrelated donor for Danish patients from the North Denmark Region, Central Denmark Region and the Region of Southern Denmark on behalf of the transplantation centers at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen and Aarhus University Hospital.

DSCD is a regular service unit within the Department of Clinical Immunology at Aarhus University Hospital. In addition the department has functions as a regional blood bank and transfusion service, HLA typing laboratory, Apheresis Centre, Processing Facility and laboratory for infectious disease markers.

Collaboration and certifications

DSCD aims at complying with standards, recommendations and guidelines of World Marrow Donor Association (WMDA) as well as other international and national regulations.

DSCD is a member of WMDA. DSCD regularly submits HLA data of its donors to Bone Marrow Donors Worldwide (BMDW). DSCD participates in the EMDIS system (European Matching and Donor Information System). DSCD is affiliated with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) as a cooperative registry. Further, DSCD is licensed by the Danish Health Authority as a tissue establishment according to the Danish Tissue Act No. 273 of 01/042006 and regulation No. 984 of 02/08/2007 on standards of quality and safety for the donation, procurement, testing, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of human tissue and cells (EU and Commission Directives on human tissue and cells). This licensed tissue establishment also covers functions performed by the Collection Centre (Department of Clinical Immunology and Department of Hematology, Aarhus University Hospital), processing facility and testing for infectious disease markers. DSCD works in accordance with the Danish Act on Data Protection and the Act on Public Health.

Department of Clinical Immunology is accredited by the European Federation of Immunogenetics (EFI) for HLA typing and donor-patient transplantation immunology for organ and HSC transplantations.

DSCD has a formal agreement with the blood banks in North Denmark Region, Central Denmark Region and the Region of Southern Denmark and the two transplantation centers (Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen and Aarhus University Hospital)

ABO and rhesus typing are performed at the blood banks. They are all approved by the Danish Health Authority according to Danish law. Blood collection, ABO typing and cross-matching for autologous erythrocyte transfusion following a bone marrow donation takes place at the blood bank at Aarhus University Hospital (Department of Clinical Immunology).

The transplantation center at Aarhus University Hospital, the collection center and processing facility are located in Aarhus Center for Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation and is JACIE accredited in 2017.

Recruitment of donors in DSCD and collaboration with blood banks

A donor can be recruited to DSCD when the following requirements are met:

  • The donor has been accepted as a blood donor and meets the national standards for blood donors according to the EU directive for blood transfusion and Danish standards for transfusion (TMS) developed and maintained by the Danish Society of Clinical Immunology.

  • The donor is between 18 and 45 years old at time of recruitment (donors up to age 60 can occasionally be accepted)

  • A donor has given written informed consent to participate in DSCD

A donor is removed from the data base when:

  • A donor’s health condition is listed in the exclusion criteria of the WMDA guidelines for donor eligibility

  • The donor is older than 60 years

  • The donor cannot be traced

  • The donor wishes to be removed

  • The donor is not eligible for donation for other reasons

Personal data security and informed consent for donors in DSCD

Donors are requested to provide informed written consent when joining DSCD, when blood samples are shipped for verification typing and when asked to donate HSC or lymphocytes. All participation in DSCD is voluntary and the donors are informed that they can withdraw at any time without stating any explanation. Donor’s name, date of birth, social security number, and blood group are revealed by the blood banks to DSCD. This data is together with the HLA typing data and donor unique identification (ID) number, filed in the DSCD data system. ID number, HLA types, ABO types, gender and age is the only information disclosed in communication with registries around the world.

DSCD is a regular entity of Aarhus University Hospital. The DSCD personnel, as well as the personnel at the Collection Center, Processing Facility and other collaborating units work in accordance with rules of confidentiality. All personnel have only access to the computer system through a secure log in procedure. In addition, only DSCD personnel have access to the data file and DSCD data system through an additional secure log in procedure.

Characterisation of donors in DSCD

Only blood donors can join DSCD. Thus, all donors are recruited in blood banks and they meet the criteria for blood donors according to the EU directive on blood donation and the national standards for transfusion (TMS) in Denmark developed and maintained by the Danish Society of Clinical Immunology.

A donor is further characterised by:

  • Age (year of birth) and gender

  • ABO and Rh blood typing (performed by local blood banks)

  • HLA typing data

Since 2010, new donors have been HLA typed genomic for HLA-A, -B, -C, DRB1 and DQB1 and since 2015 also for DPB1 by Histogenetics. Upon request DBMDR can perform high resolution genomic HLA-A, -B, -C, -DRB1, -DQB1, DRB3, DRB4, DRB5, DQA1 and DPB1 typing.

In addition, infectious disease marker analyses and ABO and Rh typing are always provided at time of verification typing and pre-donation workup. Infectious disease marker and other analyses are performed according to a standard list which is frequently updated. Further, additional analyses may be performed on specific request.

From February 2017, the list of infectious disease marker and other analyses is as follows (additional test may be performed if requested or required):

  • Hiv Ag/Ab

  • Hiv RNA (only at workup)

  • CMV (IgM and IgG) antibody status

  • HBsAg

  • Anti-HBc (total)

  • HBV DNA (only at workup)

  • Anti-HCV

  • HCV RNA (only at workup)

  • Antibody screening for syphilis

  • Anti-HTLV I and II

  • Anti-EBV IgGand IgM (only at workup)

  • Toxoplasmosis antibodies (IgG and IgM, only at workup)

All donors are recruited for both bone marrow and peripheral blood HSC donation, as well for lymphocyte donation if there is a case of need for a donor lymphocyte infusion. The Collection Center can collect and provide all cell products.

A stem cell donation can be requested according to the DSCD guidelines upon request for donation and subsequent donations. Please see other information on this web site.

Donor search for Danish patients

DSCD performs search for unrelated donor or cord blood for Danish patients on behalf of the two transplantations centers in Denmark (Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen and Aarhus University Hospital). The search process includes preliminary search requests to DSCD and registries or cord blood banks around the world, including NMDP, “activation” of potentially HLA-matched donors for allelic typing or verification typing and selection of best donor or cord blood unit. Donors are regularly searched for in BMDW and through the EMDIS system.

Patients are included for donor search after approval by the Group for Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation according to criteria published by the Danish Society of Hematology.