Be The Match BioBank

Providing physicians, patients and donors a predictable path to transplant

Many obstacles can stand in the way of achieving your patient’s desired transplant timeline. Uncertainty that a donor’s collection can happen when you need it. Financial risks if issues arise with a patient’s insurance. Scheduling conflicts if your patient’s transplant needs to be postponed.

You’ve told us you need more certainty that donor collection and cell delivery will happen when you need it. That’s why we established our Be The Match® BioBank allogenic donor product cryopreservation service.

Be The Match BioBank reduces the risk that those obstacles will put your patient’s treatment timeline in jeopardy. When you use Be The Match BioBank, you can have confidence that you’ll receive the allogeneic donor product you requested when your patient is ready for transplant.

Explore the free service below. Then, request our Be The Match BioBank service for your patient through your Case Manager. Or, contact the Be The Match BioBank team at BTMBioBank@nmdp.org.

Benefits for patients, transplant centers and donors

Through our free Be The Match BioBank service, our goal is to:

  • Provide patients an expedited pathway to blood and marrow transplant
  • Increase donor availability by giving donors, donor centers, apheresis centers and collection centers more flexibility in scheduling the donation date
  • Offer transplant center physicians a reliable transplant experience with no financial risk

Navigating treatment timelines

Be The Match BioBank allows the donor’s collection to proceed before your patient’s transplant. The donor’s cells are cryopreserved and stored at one of our partner cryopreservation labs until you request the product for shipment. That means a high-quality and characterized peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) or marrow product is available when needed for your patient.

In the event that your patient’s health status changes and they are unable to proceed to transplant, a product from a U.S. donor can be consented to be listed in MatchSource® and made available for other searching patients.

Offering more flexibility in collection timing

When you choose to cryopreserve the donor product for your patient’s blood stem cell transplant, you allow for more flexibility in scheduling the donor’s donation. Offering this flexibility can increase the likelihood a product is available for transplant because donation can happen on a date that works best for the donor.

This allows the donation to occur even if the transplant is delayed. It is an added benefit for the donor, donor center, and apheresis or marrow collection center because they avoid scheduling changes that often occur when a fresh product is requested for a patient.

Cryopreservation through our Be The Match BioBank allows for more flexibility in the donor collection, the product delivery and, ultimately, your patient’s transplant.

Reducing financial risk

There is no financial risk to your center to use Be The Match BioBank. You will not be charged for donor workup and procurement until after the cryopreserved product has shipped from our Be The Match BioBank to your center. We are also covering the cost of cryopreservation, so there are no additional cryopreservation fees for your center.

We understand there may be situations when your patient cannot proceed to transplant after product collection. For example, in a case where a patient experiences a change in their health status or loss of insurance coverage.

In the unlikely event this occurs, your center will not be charged for the donor’s collection costs. We’re covering the cost and reducing your financial risk because we know how critically important it is to meet your transplant timeline.

To request Be The Match BioBank cryopreservation, contact your Case Manager or email BTMBioBank@nmdp.org.

How Be The Match BioBank works 

The process starts after you’ve selected a donor for workup. If a cryopreserved product is best for your patient, simply provide the patient’s anticipated conditioning start date and transplant date to your Case Manager.

Your Case Manager will work with the donor center to confirm collection and that Be The Match BioBank cryopreservation is an option. If so, the donor will proceed with their donation when it works best for them and the apheresis center or marrow collection center.

After collection, a National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)/Be The Match® courier will take the fresh product to one of our partner labs for cryopreservation, product characterization and storage. You will receive the product cell counts and characterization results as they become available. A final product comprehensive product report will be emailed to your center upon completion of all testing.

The product will be held in cryostorage until it is shipped to your center. Our NMDP/Be The Match Logistics team will arrange product shipment to ensure the donor cells arrive at your center on time.

Be The Match BioBank partner cryopreservation labs

We have partnered with two labs to provide cryopreservation services for Be The Match BioBank:

  • Marcus Center for Cellular Cures (MC3)/Carolinas Cord Blood Bank at Duke University
  • Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics program, M Health Fairview at the University of Minnesota

Both programs have vast experience and expertise in cryopreserving hematopoietic stem cells for allogeneic patient transplant.

Characterization of cryopreserved products 

Marrow and PBSC product pre-freeze characterization includes:

  • ABO/Rh
  • Total nucleated cell counts
  • nRBC
  • Viable CD34+, viable CD45+, CD3+, CD4+, CD8+
  • AO/PI viability
  • CFU viability
  • Microbial and fungal sterility performed by an automated microbial detection system.

You can find information on PBSC and marrow product preparation in our Frequently asked questions.

To request Be The Match BioBank cryopreservation, contact your Case Manager or email BTMBioBank@nmdp.org.

Frequently asked questions 

What is the Be The Match BioBank?

Be The Match BioBank is our cryopreservation service. It allows donors to donate PBSC or bone marrow prior to your patient’s transplant.

By collecting and cryopreserving a donor’s product before transplant, you can be assured a quality product will be available for your patient when you need it.

Contact your Case Manager once you have selected a donor for workup and have determined moving forward with cryopreservation is best for your patient.

In the past, our transplant center needed to receive approval from the NMDP/Be The Match if we wanted to cryopreserve the entire donor product. Do I need to request special permission to use the Be The Match BioBank cryopreservation service for my patient?

Approval will still need to be obtained by the NMDP/Be The Match, the donor and the donor center or registry to proceed with cryopreservation. However, additional approval for cryopreservation through Be The Match BioBank is not needed. Please continue to contact your Case Manager after you’ve selected a donor for workup and determined cryopreservation is the best option for your patient.

Please contact your Case Manager with your request for cryopreservation through Be The Match BioBank as early as possible. This allows enough time for the donor center to counsel the donor and gain consent for cryopreservation. The donor center will also request permission from U.S. donors to use their cells for a different patient in the unlikely event your patient does not proceed to transplant.

How much does Be The Match BioBank cost?

There are no additional costs for your center when the NMDP/Be The Match cryopreserves the donor’s product on your behalf.

Your center will only be billed for workup and product procurement (collection and courier) costs. These costs are dependent on the donor supplier and according to the current NMDP/Be The Match fee schedule.

When is my center charged for the product procurement?

All donor workup and product procurement charges are delayed until after the cryopreserved product has been shipped from our Be The Match BioBank to your center.

What happens if the collection has occurred but my patient’s health status changes and they will not be proceeding to transplant?

In the unlikely event your patient is unable to proceed to transplant, you will not be charged for the cost of the donor’s collection. We are committed to eliminating barriers to a patient’s transplant. Removing financial risk for our transplant center partners is one way we can help.

As part of the consent process for U.S. donors, the donor center will ask the donor for consent to keep their cells stored and available for use by a different patient. If your patient cannot use the product and the donor has consented, the product will be listed in MatchSource so it can be used by another suitable patient.

Can I use Be The Match BioBank for an international donor?

Yes. We can freeze product from any donor, domestic or international, assuming the donor and donor center approve.

Is Be The Match BioBank available for related donor collections?

We are able to extend our cryopreservation services through Be The Match BioBank when our Related Donor Services program is supporting your related donor workup and collection.

However, if your patient cannot proceed with transplant after the donor’s donation, we are not able to list the donor’s product for other searching unrelated patients and the donor’s donation would go unused.

Will donors be notified that their donated cells will be cryopreserved?

Yes. The donor center will have a conversation with the donor and get their consent during the workup process. In addition, the donor will be notified if their cells are not used for the first intended patient.

We have cryopreservation capabilities at my transplant center. Why should I use Be The Match BioBank instead of cryopreserving the cells here?

There are several advantages for your center. In cases where you have identified a donor but have concerns about scheduling their donation to align with your patient’s transplant timeframe, proceeding with Be The Match BioBank cryopreservation should be considered.

With a Be The Match BioBank cryopreservation, we will defer any donor workup-related charges until after the frozen product is shipped to your center. This reduces the financial risk to your center. There are also no extra charges for our cryopreservation services.

Additionally, if your center lacks the capacity to accept donor product for cryopreservation or does not have experience with cryopreserving allogenic bone marrow, Be The Match BioBank may be good option.

Can I receive day-of collection samples from the donor?

Yes. Donor samples can still be collected on the day of donation and shipped to your lab. In addition, the cryopreserved product will ship with minimum of 3x .5ml cryovials of the product.

How are PBSC products prepared for cryopreservation?

PBSC products will be collected in ACD-A. Those that are concentrated during apheresis are cryopreserved in a 1:1 freezing solution containing 80% plasmalyte and 20% DMSO, for a final product which contains 10% DMSO.

Products that are not concentrated during apheresis are cryopreserved with DMSO added for a final product which contains 10% DMSO.

How are bone marrow products prepared for cryopreservation?

Bone marrow products are collected with only heparin as the anticoagulant. Automated red blood cell and plasma reduction will occur prior to cryopreservation, reducing product volume approximately 15x. DMSO is used as the cryoprotectant for a final product which contains 10% DMSO.

How are PBSC and bone marrow products frozen?

Both PBSC and bone marrow products are cryopreserved using a controlled rate freezer. Products are frozen in multiple bags with attached segments. Cryopreservation SOPs are available upon request.

Request Be The Match BioBank cryopreservation

You can request our Be The Match BioBank service for your patient through your Case Manager. Or, contact the Be The Match BioBank team at BTMBioBank@nmdp.org.