Haemopoietic Progenitor Cell Program
Haemopoietic progenitor cells (HPC) therapy can save the lives of patients with conditions of the blood, blood-producing organs or immune system. The program funds several initiatives to help eligible Australians to access HPC treatments.
About haemopoietic progenitor cell transplant
People who most commonly need haemopoietic progenitor cell (HPC) treatment have a blood or immune disorder, which has seriously affected their bone marrow. They might also have had high doses of chemotherapy or irradiation. This can damage their bone marrow and prevent it working normally.
HPC cells are self-renewing, and can change and mature into all blood cell types. An HPC transplant regenerates marrow and blood systems, potentially saving or extending the recipient’s life.
The patient’s condition determines the transplant method they need. It could be:
- autologous – using patients own tissue
- allogeneic – from a related donor
- allogeneic – from an unrelated donor.
Goals of the program
The Haemopoietic Progenitor Cells Program aims to improve Australians’ access to HPC transplants.
It provides important support to HPC donors and patients who need HPC treatments in Australia.
Meeting these goals
Through the HPC Program, we improve patients’ access to HPC treatment by funding the International Search Program (ISP) and Bone Marrow Transplant Program (BMTP).
International Searches Program
ISP helps to find a suitable international donor for patients who need HPC treatment.
Patients can access the ISP if they cannot find a suitable donor in Australia. ISP provides funding for the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry (ABMDR) to search international registries for a match for the patient.
Bone Marrow Transplant Program
The BMTP, which we administer, provides financial assistance to cover the cost of bringing an international donor or their HPCs to Australia for transplantation.
The assistance aims to cover costs outside Medicare arrangements.
We fund the ABMDR to:
- maintain the national donor registry
- coordinate national and international registry searches for a matching donor or cord blood unit for the treatment of patients.
- ensure umbilical cord blood units are stored and managed appropriately.
Apply for the program
Apply for the BMTP
The treating hospital must submit applications for assistance under the BMTP on the patient’s behalf. To be eligible for assistance, patients must meet a set of criteria, including that:
- the patient is a permanent resident of Australia
- the patient has a current Medicare card
- a suitable donor is not available in Australia
- there must be realistic prospect of success
- the treatment is expected to be life extending
- the treatment must be beyond the experimental stage and be an accepted treatment method for their condition.
Find a list of medical conditions for which HPC transplantation is a supported treatment option.