About DKMS

About us

Our story begins in 1991, when our founder, Dr. Peter Harf, lost his wife Mechtild H. to leukemia. Peter promised his wife to help every blood cancer patient finding a matching donor.

At that time, there were only 3,000 potential stem cell donors available to provide a transplant in Germany. Peter H. founded DKMS Germany, and within just one year the number of stem cell donors increased to 68,000.

This was reason enough for our founder to believe in his vision – to delete blood cancer and to give every blood cancer patient a second chance at life. In 2004, we embarked on our international journey by establishing offices in the Americas, and we continued the expedition with openings in 2009 in Poland, in 2011 in Spain and in 2013 in the UK.

Our vision

We delete blood cancer! We want to provide every blood cancer patient with a matching donor or help with access to treatment – around the globe.

DKMS -- Was uns antreibt

The fate of patients like Michelle and Nina is our driving force. A stem cell donation can save the life of someone who is suffering from blood cancer.

15 year old Michelle was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia (ALL). Thanks to a stem cell donation Michelle can now lead a normal life again. “I would never have thought that I would be able to experience this!”

Our mission

We recruit donors
We recruit, retain and motivate stem cell donors globally to save patients’ lives.

We provide access to treatment
We are committed to providing all blood cancer patients with access to appropriate

We help to improve blood cancer therapies
We support all efforts to improve the outcome of blood stem cell transplantation.

We care about patients
We maximize patients’ well-being!

What we do

DKMS - Wir besiegen Blutkrebs

• We create awareness of blood cancer diseases and treatments.
• We recruit stem cell donors for the chance of saving patients’ lives.
• We engage the public as well as corporations to organize donor drives.
• We raise funds to match registration costs and to expand our services to
better serve patients.
• We help to improve blood cancer therapies – through our own research and State-of-the-art Technology in our lab.
• We maintain our donor relationship from day one of registration until stem cell donation.
• We care about patients – and provide information and services in helping to manage a life-threatening situation.

OUR FUNDING

The costs for registering new donors are not assumed by the health-care system. Every euro counts in the fight against blood cancer because every registration of a new donor alone costs DKMS €40. You can get involved too! We need your help!

DKMS’s funding rests on two pillars: the monetary donations from individuals and businesses, and reimbursements from the health care systems for maintaining the donor database and for successfully matching a stem cell donor to a blood cancer patient in need of a donation.

Thanks to our dual funding strategy and our operational efficiency, DKMS is an economically viable nonprofit company that is self-sustaining and can work independently of public funds. However, despite all our successes, DKMS relies on financial support from donors who provide funds for the expansion of the database.

OUR MANAGEMENT BODIES AND DEPARTMENTS

Every human life counts, everywhere throughout the world.

DR. ALEXANDER SCHMIDT

Chief Executive. Responsible for the areas of Medicine and Science

SANDRA BOTHUR

Managing Director for Donor Recruitment as well as for the supporting functions Fundraising, Marketing, Public Relations and Event Management.

Sirko Geist

Managing Director for the areas of Administration, Finances, Organization, IT and Human Capital.

For a future with more blood cancer survivors!

To continue to make our vision become reality, we need to further develop our DKMS donor community worldwide. DKMS Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei GmbH – the German Bone Marrow Donor Center – belongs to a network of organizations under the umbrella of the DKMS Foundation for Giving Life.

Our Structure

The DKMS Foundation for Giving Life, the parent organization of the DKMS, has been in existence since 1997.

The global DKMS Family

Every human life counts, everywhere throughout the world. All over the world, too many blood cancer patients continue to die. DKMS wants to give people new hope for a chance at life – not only in their own countries, but in other countries as well.

OUR TEAMS

We are over 600 people representing more than 20 nations across 5 countries, dedicated to helping to give every blood cancer patient a second chance at life.

 

In order to improve support and assistance for patients and family members, the foundation supports, among other things, the national patient conference of the DLH Deutsche Leukämie- und Lymphom-Hilfe e.V. (“German leukemia and lymphoma aid”). The foundation publishes a total of five volumes of booklets under the title Der Rote Ratgeber (“the red guide”) for patients and family members on the topics of blood cancer and stem cell donation.

THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF DKMS FOUNDATION FOR GIVING LIFE


Dr. Peter Harf (Founder)

Dr. Dr. Christoph Glaser (Chairman of the Board)

Prof. Richard Champlin, MD (Vice Chairman of the Board)

Laurence Atlas

Prof. Marcel van den Brink, MD, PhD

Alexandre Van Damme

Prof. John Hansen, MD

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dieter Hoelzer

Dr. Antonella Mei-Pochtler

Alejandro Santo Domingo

Patrice de Talhouët

 

DKMS in USA
• Active since 2004
• Office in New York City
• 94 Employees
Visit DKMS USA

DKMS in Polska
• Active since 2009
• Office in Warsaw
• 87 Employees
Visit DKMS Polska

DKMS in Spain
• Active since 2011
• Office in Barcelona
• 4 Employees
Visit DKMS Spain

DKMS in UK
• Active since 2012
• Office in London
• 36 Employees
Visit DKMS UK

 

Charity & Event Management (Cologne)

This team organizes fundraising events such as charity ladies’ lunches and the “dream ball” for our affiliate organization DKMS LIFE. With the monetary donations generated by these events, we can fund the addition of new donors in the database.

Heike Müller-Jungbluth
mueller-jungbluth@dkms.de
0221 940582-3570

CT coordination team
(Cologne and Tübingen)

The main task of the CT (confirmatory typing) coordination team is to provide information, advice, and support to donors during the confirmatory or detailed typing. If it turns out that a donor is shortlisted as a stem cell donor for a patient due to his or her tissue characteristics, this information is passed on immediately.

Julia Stolze
stolze@dkms.de
07071 943-1210

Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) (Dresden)

The clinical trials unit (CTU) is a research department that aims to advance scientific research in the areas of stem cell donation and stem cell transplantation and to improve data management across the different levels of stem cell transplantation, from donor selection and stem cell donation to the actual transplantation, to donor and patient aftercare. The center of excellence for clinical trials is part of an international aid campaign for blood cancer patients. It works in close cooperation with national and international institutions such as the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) and the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trial Network (BMT-CTN) in the United States.

Dr. Johannes Schetelig
schetelig@dkms.de
0351 450-3145

Finance and Accounting (Tübingen)

Contact:
Heiko Mertens
mertens@dkms.de
07071 943-1512

Fundraising (Cologne)

This team generates monetary and material donations and maintains contacts with private donors, organizations, and companies. Additionally, the team ensures that supporters stay connected to us as long-term partners.

Heike Müller-Jungbluth
mueller-jungbluth@dkms.de
0221 940582-3570

HLA Service Team (Tübingen)

This team initiates various kinds of HLA (human leukocyte antigen) typing (determining tissue characteristics and/or HLA characteristics) and carries out various quality programs and scientific projects in order to significantly shorten the search time for a suitable donor and thus help patients faster.

Dr. Julia Pingel
pingel@dkms.de
07071 943-2010

Human Capital (Tübingen)

Daniel Knoll
knoll@dkms.de
07071 943-1640

International Donor Recruitment (Cologne)

This team supports our international partner organizations and consults with other international databases and registries about questions regarding donor recruitment.

Sabine Hildebrand
hildebrand@dkms.de
0221 940582-4210

International Medical Business Development (Tübingen and Cologne)

Our colleagues in the transplant center services team foster relationships with transplantation centers, search units, and registers and thus ensure the best possible processes and quality of treatment. The international medical team provides professional support, advice, and assistance to the various DKMS locations aboard.

Gabi Rall
rall@dkms.de
07071 943-1910

International Development (Cologne)

The team is responsible for the development of additional DKMS locations outside of Germany with the aim of increasing patients’ chances at life.

Stephan Schumacher
schumacher@dkms.de
0221 940582-3000

Information and Technology Services (Tübingen und Köln)

Michael Schneider
its@dkms.de
07071 943-0

Marketing (Cologne)

Sabine Freude
freude@dkms.de
0221 940582-3210

Public Relations Team (Cologne)

Jutta Oellig
oellig@dkms.de
0221 940582-3310

Donor Recruitment
(Cologne, Tübingen, Hövelhof, Berlin)

This team takes care of adding new donors. Together with family members and friends of patients, it carries out local donor drives and processes the registrations that are made through our web site.

Iris Theisen
theisen@dkms.de
0221 940582-3510

Donor-Patient Contacts (Tübingen)

Here, donors receive information about the state of health of the patient that they donated their stem cells to. The team is in charge of anonymous correspondence between donors and patients, observing the statutory prohibition of contact, as well as personal contact if the donor and patient would like to get to know each other and local regulations allow this.

Dr. Deborah Buk
buk@dkms.de
07071 943-1360

Central Administration

Birgit Bay
bay@dkms.de
07071 943-1720

Workup Team (Tübingen)

When a matching donor is found for a patient, the work of the Workup Team begins. These colleagues organize and coordinate the collection of stem cells and bone marrow.

Elena Lara-Weisshaupt
lara-weisshaupt@dkms.de
07071 943-1310

SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

Research is important and can save lives. At DKMS, there are numerous research projects and quality programs in various specialty departments that are constantly optimizing our work.

 

The continuous development and improvement in the quality and quantity of the DKMS database is necessary. The more efficiently we work, the faster patients are able to be cared for in the race against time. Thus, optimizing the quality of donor data is of the utmost importance. DKMS has achieved a significant improvement in quality with the development of its own search algorithm: the Hap-E (haplotype-enhanced) Search. The special software program facilitates the search for suitable donors using patient findings while identifying suitable mismatch donors (with deviations in matching tissue characteristics) and enabling automated searches and tasks. Other DKMS quality programs include additional secondary typings of older donor data at our expense, the targeted search for replacement donors, and the ancestry program, which is targeted to donors with combinations of rare tissue characteristics.

 

The Clinical Trials Unit (CTU) was created in early 2013 in Dresden. The goal of this department is to better promote research in the area of stem cell transplants for fighting blood cancer. Currently, a network for clinical studies is being established in cooperation with institutions both within Germany and abroad.

DKMS Annual Reports

Donor numbers

The annual report 2014 contains the statutes of DKMS and detailed financial information. You will learn how and what DKMS uses its income and expenditures for.

Our annual report 2013/2014 describes in detail how DKMS came to be, what we are specifically doing for blood cancer patients, and what role DKMS plays in the global fight against blood cancer.

Working for DKMS

DKMS family is the largest database network in the world and is growing steadily. Our number-one goal is to find a matching donor for every patient. In addition to our day-to-day work, we strive to improve the quality and quantity of the database with the help of innovative and unconventional projects. In order to achieve our goals, we need support in our fight against blood cancer.

View job openings

DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award

The DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award is presented by the DKMS Foundation for Giving Life. The award recognizes the physician’s outstanding research on the effectiveness of live-saving treatments for blood cancer patients based on blood stem cell and bone marrow transplants.

 

2016

Katharina Fleischhauer (GER)

2015

John A. Hansen (USA)

2014

Richard J. O'Reilly (USA)

2013

Dennis L. Confer MD (USA)
Prof. Guido Lucarelli (Italien)

2011

Karl Blume (Deutschland)

2010

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. hc. mult. Theodor M. Fliedner (Deutschland)

2009

Rainer F. Storb (USA)

2008

Jan van Rood MD, PhD (Niederlande)

2007

Mary Horowitz MD,MS (USA)

2006

Prof. Dr. med. Hans-Jochem Kolb (Deutschland)

2005

Thomas E. Donnal MD (USA)

2004

Eliane Gluckmann MD (Frankreich)

2002

Efffie Wang Petersdorf MD (USA)

2001

Dr. Helmut Geiger (Deutschland)

 

One of the focuses of Fleischhauer’s research is the so-called HLA-DPB1 marker, which is used for improved matching of stem cell donor and patient. Through her research the physician was able to identify beneficial HLA-DPB1 combinations, and major blood stem cell registries recently started to use these findings to improve their search procedures. When searching for a matching donor, new filters can be applied to display donors whose HLA-DPB1 types work well with the respective patient’s types. DKMS has included the HLA-DPB1 type in its typing profile of newly registered donors since 2013.

 

John A. Hansen has been instrumental in the success and effectiveness of stem cell transplantation for blood cancer patients, in particular with regard to our understanding of the impact of genetic variations within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC complex) on the success of transplant. He has furthermore conducted clinical studies to analyze the role of genes that are crucially involved in the regulation of cellular immune responses.

DKMS Volunteer Award

The DKMS Volunteer Award acknowledges acknowledges the exceptional long-term personal commitment of individuals as well as groups and associations in the fight against blood cancer.

Each of our more than 15,000 volunteers support us in a variety of ways. Without their help, DKMS would not be nearly as successful in its mission to find the right donor for blood cancer patients around the world. Supporters are more likely to be nominated for the award if they carry out donor drives together with DKMS, collect monetary donations, or provide detailed information about blood cancer and stem cell donations. We would also consider you for the prize if you advise and support patients with diseases of the hematopoietic system and their family members.

Michelle Büchner aus Heilbad Heiligenstadt

2015: Michelle Büchner

Initiativgruppe „Sina will leben“

2015: "Sina will leben"

 

2014

Young Supporters
Vanessa Meurer
Minikicker des TuS Solbad Ravensberg
Sarah Thibeault und Jorin Geller

Big Helpers
AIAS München e.V.
Marina Park
Andreas Landgraf

2013

Dr. Michael Bermes (Iserlohn)

2012

Hidir Diyen (Köln)

2011

Karlheinz Michen (Bremerhaven)

2010

Brigitte Lehenberger (Münster am Lech)

2009

Hilfsgruppe Eifel – Hilfe für krebskranke Kinder e.V. (Kall/Eifel)

2008

Martin Hilker (Oelde)

2007

Stiftung "Hilfe für Petra und andere" (Georgsmarienhütte),

2006

Leukin e.V.; Verein zur Hilfe leukämiekranker Kinder e.V. (Ostrauderfehn)

2005

Petra Neumann (Vorsitzende des Wolfsburg hilft e.V.)

2004

Gerda Schommer (Gründerin der Selbsthilfegruppe Eltern krebskranker Kinder Amberg/Sulzbach e.V.)

2003

Thomas Geidl und das Organisatorenteam des Neumarkter Stadtlaufes (Neumarkt)

2002

Prof. Dr. med. Peter Lorbacher (Direktor a.D. der Deutschen Klinik für Diagnostik (DKD), Wiesbaden und Mitglied des Rotary Club)

2001

Anita Waldmann

Our sponsors and partners

Every year, the commitment of organizations and companies plays a crucial role in the steady growth of our database and in increasing the chances at life for patients. As they prefer, companies can support us as sponsors or long-term cooperation partners.

Other ways to help

There are many ways to support our fight against blood cancer.

Register as a stem cell donor. You may save someone's life.

Your money donation can save lives.

Follow us on social networks and share our appeals.