Donating stem cells to give a blood cancer patient a second chance at life is an incredible and selfless act of kindness. Out of over 11.5 million people registered with DKMS, more than 105,000 have donated stem cells in the past 32 years. More than 7,700 times each year - in the seven countries where DKMS is present. “We are deeply indebted to all the people who support our life-saving mission and donate their stem cells. At DKMS, we want to make this unique experience for our donors as comfortable as possible. In addition to many valued partners who perform collections for us, we can now also take care of our donors ourselves and all along the way,” says Dr. Elke Neujahr, Global Chief Executive Officer at DKMS and Chief Executive Officer of the DKMS Collection Center.
In the past months, the transfer of assets of the Cellex Collection Center in Dresden to DKMS were planned and implemented. This has now started its work as a non-profit organization on April 1, 2023. In the coming months, this will also take place at the Cologne location. “Cellex has been our trusted partner for 20 years and has performed more than 50,000 stem cell collections for DKMS. We are glad to start operations today in Dresden with a dedicated team of experts and are looking forward to the launch of our collection center in Cologne,” says Dr. Elke Neujahr.
DKMS and Cellex share a very long history. In 2001, Professor Gerhard Ehninger, the co-founder of DKMS, launched Cellex in Dresden and further established the collection center in Cologne in 2009. “DKMS and Cellex worked hand in hand ever since to provide lifesaving stem cells from healthy donors. The transfer ensures that the successful work of the Cellex Collection Center will be continued by DKMS in the interest of all blood cancer and blood disorder patients worldwide,” says Professor Gerhard Ehninger, Managing Partner at Cellex Cell Professionals.
“Our goal is to provide the best possible service to our DKMS donors. It is a great opportunity for us to start the DKMS Collection Center with such an experienced and reliable team. The safety and well-being of our donors has top priority,” says Sirko Geist, Chief Executive Officer of the DKMS Collection Center. The team in Dresden consists of excellent physicians and dedicated nurses. Together, they enable on average six peripheral stem cell collections daily and four bone marrow collections per week with the necessary care and attention and in compliance with the highest standards. After collection, couriers deliver the stem cells to transplant centers around the world.
DKMS cooperates with several certified collection centers. Also, in the future, we will continue to work together with them in a trustful partnership to ensure that patients are given a second chance at life. Because: worldwide, every 27 seconds someone is diagnosed with a form of blood cancer. Many patients cannot survive without a life-saving stem cell donation and for many every day counts. Thus, it is crucial that sufficient capacities for stem cell collection are available. “With the DKMS Collection Center we want to meet increasing requests to make sure that patients receive the donated cells when they need them. We are therefore planning to expand our capacities and will move to new and larger premises in Dresden this year,” highlights Sirko Geist.