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Saliva test could help leukaemia patients

Published on 01/07/2010
A new saliva test has been developed that promises to provide a painless way to check whether volunteers are suitable for bone marrow donations.

The Anthony Noland Trust developed the DNA test, which will allow doctors to match donors to leukaemia patients without needing to take blood samples with a syringe.

Not only is this a time-consuming process - requiring people to visit their GP to give blood - doctors also fear it puts some people off because of the hassle involved and needles used.

"We're really excited about the switch to saliva testing," said Henny Braund, chief executive of the trust. "Ultimately, this is about saving more lives.

"We urgently need to increase the number of people on our register, and saliva testing will help us do that much more quickly and effectively."

The charity campaigns to encourage donors onto the bone marrow register, which currently has 400,000 on it.

There is just a one in four chance that siblings will have compatible bone marrow tissue types, while only 30 per cent of patients will find a matching donor from their family.

Volunteers must be aged between 18 and 40 to register as a bone marrow donor.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Health
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