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.
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!”
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!
• 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.
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.
DR. ALEXANDER SCHMIDT
Chief Executive. Responsible for the areas of Medicine and Science
Managing Director for Donor Recruitment as well as for the supporting functions Fundraising, Marketing, Public Relations and Event Management.
Managing Director for the areas of Administration, Finances, Organization, IT and Human Capital.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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
Finance and Accounting (Tübingen)
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.
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
Human Capital (Tübingen)
International Donor Recruitment (Cologne)
This team supports our international partner organizations and consults with other international databases and registries about questions regarding donor recruitment.
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.
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.
Information and Technology Services (Tübingen und Köln)
Public Relations Team (Cologne)
(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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Katharina Fleischhauer (GER)
John A. Hansen (USA)
Richard J. O'Reilly (USA)
Dennis L. Confer MD (USA)
Prof. Guido Lucarelli (Italien)
Karl Blume (Deutschland)
Prof. Dr. med. Dr. hc. mult. Theodor M. Fliedner (Deutschland)
Rainer F. Storb (USA)
Jan van Rood MD, PhD (Niederlande)
Mary Horowitz MD,MS (USA)
Prof. Dr. med. Hans-Jochem Kolb (Deutschland)
Thomas E. Donnal MD (USA)
Eliane Gluckmann MD (Frankreich)
Efffie Wang Petersdorf MD (USA)
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.
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.
2015: Michelle Büchner
2015: "Sina will leben"
Minikicker des TuS Solbad Ravensberg
Sarah Thibeault und Jorin Geller
AIAS München e.V.
Dr. Michael Bermes (Iserlohn)
Hidir Diyen (Köln)
Karlheinz Michen (Bremerhaven)
Brigitte Lehenberger (Münster am Lech)
Hilfsgruppe Eifel – Hilfe für krebskranke Kinder e.V. (Kall/Eifel)
Martin Hilker (Oelde)
Stiftung "Hilfe für Petra und andere" (Georgsmarienhütte),
Leukin e.V.; Verein zur Hilfe leukämiekranker Kinder e.V. (Ostrauderfehn)
Petra Neumann (Vorsitzende des Wolfsburg hilft e.V.)
Gerda Schommer (Gründerin der Selbsthilfegruppe Eltern krebskranker Kinder Amberg/Sulzbach e.V.)
Thomas Geidl und das Organisatorenteam des Neumarkter Stadtlaufes (Neumarkt)
Prof. Dr. med. Peter Lorbacher (Direktor a.D. der Deutschen Klinik für Diagnostik (DKD), Wiesbaden und Mitglied des Rotary Club)