Lifesaving tissue tests matching blood cancer patients with their most compatible stem cell donor will be trialled in the East End.
Charity Anthony Nolan has become the first in the world to launch the Third Generation Sequencing technology - which types saliva and blood samples - to analyse an entire gene at once.
They say it offers patients their ‘best hope yet’ of finding the perfect donor, followed up with more positive outcomes following stem cell transplants and less complications.
East Londoner Lloyd Ellis will be one of the first to be typed using the system.
The 25-year-old adjudicator, who lives in Poplar, signed up on the Anthony Nolan register after seeing a friend’s Facebook post about the charity.
“It’s pretty amazing to hear I’m one of the first people in the world to be tested in this way.,” he said.
“I had no idea so much information could be gathered just from my spit.
“I hope that this could help me be a successful match for someone in the future; it would be an honour to be in a position to help.
“I’m really happy to support the research and proud to be a part of the process to help patients to get better matches.”
All those who join the Anthony Nolan register will now be tissue typed using the same technology.
The new methods will also be quicker than previous techniques which will mean more donors can be typed each year.
With an increased donor pool comes a better chance of a patient finding a match.
Currently, just 60% of patients receive their optimum donor partner.
Anthony Nolan chief executive Henny Braund said: “Just as Anthony Nolan was the worlds first stem cell donor registry, it is also the first registry to invest in this pioneering new technology.
“As with everything we do, this investment was driven by a desire to save the lives of more blood cancer and blood disorder patients.”