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NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms

human leukocyte antigen matching  listen  (HYOO-mun LOO-koh-site AN-tih-jen MA-ching)

  A process in which blood or tissue samples are tested for human leukocyte antigens (HLAs). HLAs are molecules found on the surface of most cells in the body. They make up a person’s tissue type, which varies from person to person. They play an important part in the body's immune response to foreign substances. Human leukocyte antigen matching is done before a donor stem cell or organ transplant to find out if tissues match between the donor and the person receiving the transplant. Also called HLA matching.