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Japan, S. Korea marrow donor foundations tie up.

TOKYO, May 14 Kyodo The Japan Marrow Donor Foundation (JMDF) formally teamed up with its South Korean counterpart Friday to refer suitable bone marrow donors to each other, JMDF officials said.

The agreement was put into practice the same day, with bone marrow taken from a Japanese man in his 20s being flown from Nagoya airport to South Korea to be transplanted to a female leukemia patient in her 40s there, the officials said.

The transplant operation was completed Friday evening, they said.

The JMDF, which operates the Japan Marrow Donor Program (JMDP), has already signed similar cooperative agreements with similar groups in the United States and Taiwan.

According to JMDF officials, the South Korean marrow donation bank association was established in 1994 and had about 18,500 donors registered as of the end of April.

The tie-up will "create bigger chances" for patients to find bone marrow matches among donors, as South Koreans and Japanese are said to have close ethnic backgrounds, they added.

In the past, three transplants between Japanese donors and South Korean recipients were performed, but those patients had registered directly with the JMDP.

The JMDP had 114,363 donors registered as of March 31, according to its Web site.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:May 17, 1999
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