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HLA Today

Improve early referral from community hematologists/oncologists

A patient’s road to transplant is long and complex. Your referral network holds the key to getting patients to your transplant center early in their disease course. But you’ve told us many patients aren’t arriving for transplant consultation soon enough, slowing down the donor search and your ability to get patients to transplant at the optimal time for better outcomes. That’s why we developed HLA Today.

HLA Today is a free program for your referral network aimed at identifying related and unrelated donors early. The program provides a simple process to HLA type patients who are newly diagnosed with a condition for which allogeneic transplant may be indicated, and their family members.

Our goal is to help improve patient outcomes by:

  • Providing hematologists/oncologists in your referral network with critical information as early as possible in a patient’s disease course
  • Starting the process for finding a related or unrelated donor as early as possible
  • Encouraging early consultation with your transplant center

Your center can use HLA Today to engage community hematologists/oncologists and improve referral timing. HLA Today is especially beneficial for practices in your referral network that do not have access to HLA typing or do not have a process in place to conduct HLA typing at diagnosis. Contact our HLA Today team to discuss how we can partner together to deliver HLA Today to your referral network.

Through collaboration with you and your referral network, together we will clear pathways for more patients to receive cell therapy, drive early referral and improve outcomes.

About HLA Today

How does HLA Today work?

We provide community hematologists/oncologists with buccal swab kits. At the time of diagnosis, staff swab the patient’s cheek and send the completed kit to us for high-resolution HLA typing.

At the same time, they can request intermediate-resolution HLA typing of relatives. We send buccal swab kits directly to the patient’s family members.

After seven to 10 days, we provide the community hematologist/oncologist with a report that provides information that may encourage timely referral to a transplant center, including:

  • The patient’s high-resolution HLA typing
  • An initial search report that includes the number of adult unrelated donor or cord blood units that match the patient
  • A list of resources to help your patient in the event transplant is needed

If they request family member typing, we will send those results separately.

A physician from the NMDP is available to connect with the community hematologist/oncologist to discuss the report and answer any questions.

To ensure continuum of care for the patient, the physician can request that your transplant center also receives the patient’s HLA results, family member HLA results and preliminary search report.

The HLA Today program provides initial typing for patients. The typing provided is high resolution, if transplant is required, the transplant center is responsible for providing one set of high resolution typing that meets the specified criteria for patients under P00079, NMDP Policy for HLA Confirmatory Typing Requirements for Unrelated Adult Donors and HLA Typing Requirement for Patients.

Research demonstrates clinical benefit of early HLA typing

The HLA Today program is based on the results of the SWOG 1203 study of high-risk adult patients with AML. Researchers found that for patients with high-risk AML, early cytogenetic testing and HLA typing, initiation of donor identification, and referral for HCT consultation led to:

  • 65% transplant rate in CR1 compared to the historical rate of 40% (p <0.001)
  • 37% increase in 2-year overall survival among patients who underwent transplantation compared with patients who did not undergo transplantation (48% vs 35%, respectively p=0.031)1

How much does HLA Today cost?

HLA Today is free. There are no hidden costs for the physician’s practice, the patient or family members. There is no insurance paperwork to file, which is ideal for those practices that cannot claim insurance reimbursement for typing.

Our goal is to remove barriers to patient and family member HLA typing at diagnosis so more patients are referred early for transplant consultation, transplant can occur at the optimal time and patients have a higher likelihood for better outcomes.

37 percent improvement in 2 year study

Getting Started With HLA Today

How can my center deliver the HLA Today program to our referral network?

Contact our HLA Today team to learn more about the program and discuss how we can work together to reach your referral network. You can connect with our team by filling out the form below.

“It’s been such a great resource for our patients. We primarily refer to Dana-Farber. It’s allowed them to not have to spend the time talking about what typing is, why it’s important, how complex it is. They can focus on the experience of going through transplant when they meet [the patient] for the first time. And I think that’s what patients need.”
—Courtney Bellomo, MD, Director of Stem Cell Therapy, New York Oncology Hematology

Where can hematologists/oncologists in our referral network get more information on HLA Today?

Full details for physicians in your referral network—including a kit request form—are available on NMDPClinical.org. Access the webpage.

Additional Information for Transplant Centers

Can HLA Today be used to replace HLA typing of patients at my transplant center at referral or for confirmatory typing?

The HLA Today program is intended for hematologists/oncologists in your referral network. HLA Today reports may only be used for a preliminary search. Verification of the patient’s HLA typing should be conducted using your transplant center’s validated testing laboratory and normal processes.

If there are significant delays to preliminary HLA typing due to insurance challenges, your transplant center can contact your NMDP case manager for assistance. We understand time is essential and want to help expedite the path to transplant.

What if we want more information beyond the preliminary search report?

Once the patient is referred to your transplant center, you can contact your case manager at the NMDP case and request the full HLA Today report. The report provides more detailed information.

If you have any questions about HLA Today, fill out the form below.


  1. 1. Pagel JM, Othus M, Garcia-Manero G, et al. Rapid Donor Identification Improves Survival in High-Risk First-Remission Patients With Acute Myeloid Leukemia. JCO Oncology Practice 2020; 16:6, e464-e475. Access.

Contact Our Team

Fill out the form below to connect with our team about HLA Today. One of our team members will reach out to you soon.