The ZKRD has developed a software application called OptiMatch® for this very purpose. OptiMatch® searches the databases and generates a list of potential, suitable donors, known as matches, for the respective patient. In addition to the HLA characteristics, this list contains further secondary selection criteria such as the age and sex of the donor. The match list for all patients is updated every night. If the search center and doctors agree on a donor, the donor’s respective donor center will be notified by the ZKRD. The donor center will then contact the donor.
Probability calculation with OptiMatch®
Using complex calculations, the software determines the probability of a match between the potential donor and a specific patient. They should have a total of 9 out of 10 – ideally all 10 – HLA characteristics in common. Especially where donor typing is less accurate due to being incomplete or having been performed with outdated methods, complex calculations are required to identify the missing data.
If a patient has very specific tissue types for which a genetic twin is highly unlikely to be found, the software can filter out the donors with the least tissue differences. Users can use numerous control parameters to customize OptiMatch® to the requirements of individual patients. As a milestone in modern biostatistics and population genetics, it supports doctors and transplant centers in making difficult decisions, improves the cost-effectiveness of the process, and ultimately saves patients valuable time.