|Ezer Mizion holds bone marrow drives regularly to register new potential stem cell donors. Each new registrant gives a small blood sample, which is tested for tissue type. The results are then recorded in the Ezer Mizion registry.
Medical centers worldwide turn to Ezer Mizion's registry in search of compatible stem cell donors for their patients. When a possible match is found, the potential donor undergoes further blood tests. Donors commit themselves to donate bone marrow cells at least two weeks before the actual transplant, at which time the patient begins intensive chemotherapy and radiation to eliminate residual cancer cells and prepare his or her body for the transplant.
In the past, bone marrow was removed surgically from the donor's hip under local or general anesthesia. Today, the donor is given injections to stimulate the release of stem cells into the bloodstream. Stem cells are then filtered from the donor's bloodstream by an automated process via an intravenous (IV) needle in a procedure similar to blood donation. The cells are then transfused into the patient's blood and travel to the bone marrow, where they begin manufacturing healthy blood.
For the donor, there are no long-term side effects, and the procedure is almost painless.