Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) activity is increasing at an unprecedented pace with > 50,000 allogeneic transplants occurring annually worldwide. Establishing a functional HCT donor registry can be very challenging with respect to ethnicities, financial, technical, and geopolitical issues. Extensive planning steps are essential to overcome the expected challenges while establishing the registry, and to maintain its functionality. A few strategies can help move past those challenges and push the development of such registries forward. Authorities involved in HCT donor registry establishment will have to balance the advantages and costs of such a project and accommodate the emerging alternatives such as cord blood or related haploidentical transplants. Miscalculations and incomplete understanding of the various aspects of the process can have tremendous impact on the optimization of a HCT donor registry especially in developing countries. Herein we present some challenges in establishing such a registry and present potential solutions.
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