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Current Transplant News and Events, Transplant News Articles.
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Liver transplant survival rates lower in black than white pediatric patients
Novel research reveals racial and socioeconomic disparities among pediatric liver transplant patients. Findings published in Liver Transplantation, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the International Liver Transplantation Society, indicate that graft and patient survival was higher in white children than minorities. (2013-12-05)

MassBiologics receives orphan drug status from FDA for hepatitis C treatment
MassBiologics of the University of Massachusetts Medical School has received an orphan drug designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for MBL-HCV1, a monoclonal antibody developed to prevent hepatitis C virus recurrence in patients receiving a liver transplant. (2013-12-04)

Blood vessels reorganize after face transplantation surgery
For the first time, researchers have found that the blood vessels in face transplant recipients reorganize themselves, leading to an understanding of the biologic changes that happen after full face transplantation. (2013-12-04)

New drug cuts risk of deadly transplant side effect in half
A new class of drugs reduced the risk of patients contracting a serious and often deadly side effect of lifesaving bone marrow transplant treatments, according to a study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. (2013-12-02)

Ethical debate on face transplantation has evolved over time, reports Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Once viewed as an (2013-11-27)

National study finds donor age not a factor in most corneal transplants
Ten years after a transplant, a cornea from a 71-year-old donor is likely to remain as healthy as a cornea from a donor half that age, and corneas from donors over 71 perform slightly less well but still remain healthy for most transplant recipients, according to a study funded by the National Eye Institute and led by the UC Davis Health System Eye Center and the University of Cincinnati Eye Institute. (2013-11-26)

Obesity associated with higher risk of hearing loss in women
New research shows that a higher body mass index and larger waist circumference are each associated with higher risk of hearing loss, while a higher level of physical activity is associated with lower risk of hearing loss in women. (2013-11-25)

Attractants prevent nerve cell migration
A vision is to implant nerve precursor cells in patients with Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. However, the implanted nerve cells frequently do not migrate as hoped. Scientists at the Institute for Reconstructive Neurobiology at Bonn University have now discovered an important cause of this: attractants secreted by the precursor cells prevent the maturing nerve cells from migrating into the brain. The results are presented in the journal Nature Neuroscience. (2013-11-21)

Stanford scientists think mysterious virus could be a signal of a weak immune system
Genomic analysis of transplant patients finds an opportunistic microorganism whose elevated presence could be used an indicator in treatment. This paper offers a comprehensive look at the virome as well as suggestions of how the discovered indicator could be used in therapies involving the immune system. (2013-11-21)

New ISHLT nomenclature & diagnostic criteria: Antibody-mediated rejection in heart transplantation
Antibody-mediated rejection of the transplanted heart is a recognized clinical complication and a major limitation to survival of patients who have undergone heart transplantation. Experts have now developed a new working formulation for the pathologic diagnosis, grading, and reporting of cardiac antibody-mediated rejection. Their consensus statement is published in the Dec. issue of The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation and is freely available online. (2013-11-18)

New book from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press on transplantation
Written and edited by experts in the field, (2013-11-15)

NIH-funded study finds donor age not a factor in most corneal transplants
Ten years after a transplant, a cornea from a 71-year-old donor is likely to remain as healthy as a cornea from a donor half that age, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Corneas from donors over age 71 perform slightly less well, but still remain healthy for the majority of transplant recipients after 10 years, the study found. (2013-11-15)

Starting dialysis after -- not before -- conception may improve birth rates in women with advanced kidney disease
Compared with women with advanced kidney disease who conceived after starting dialysis, women who conceived and then started dialysis during the pregnancy had a much better live birth rate, but their infants were of similar birth weight and gestational age. In both groups of women with kidney disease, babies were likely to be premature and of low birth-weight, which reflects the high-risk nature of these pregnancies. (2013-11-14)

Mystery explained: How a common chemo drug thwarts graft rejection in bone marrow transplants
Results of a Johns Hopkins study may explain why a chemotherapy drug called cyclophosphamide prevents graft-versus-host (GVHD) disease in people who receive bone marrow transplants. The experiments point to an immune system cell that evades the toxic effects of cyclophosphamide and protects patients from a lethal form of GVHD. (2013-11-13)

Tailored pre-transplant therapy boosts survival rate in rare immune deficiency
Chronic granulomatous disease is a rare immune deficiency that seriously compromises organ function and is life-threatening, with 20-30 percent of patients dying within the first two decades of life. Tailored doses of the pre-transplant drug therapy boosts survival rates to over 90 percent. (2013-11-12)

Could deceased heart attack victims expand donor pool?
Researchers from the UK suggest that using organs from donors after circulatory death who also suffered a previous cardiac arrest out of the hospital environment could expand the pool of available livers for transplant. (2013-11-11)

Perceived discrimination and mistrust in health care lowers patients' quality of life
In a new study, kidney failure patients who said they had more experiences of discrimination in health care, greater medical mistrust, and lower trust in one's physician also had poorer quality of life. (2013-11-09)

The great disappearing act: Bone marrow receiver cured of allergy
Not only can bone marrow transplants be life-saving for children with acute lymphocytic leukemia, they may also cure peanut allergies. According to research presented during the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's Annual Scientific Meeting, a 10-year-old boy no longer had a peanut allergy after undergoing a bone marrow transplant. (2013-11-08)

Vitamin D supplements may improve kidney transplant recipients' health
Vitamin D levels had an almost linear relationship with annual kidney function decline among kidney transplant recipients. Vitamin D inadequacy and deficiency showed significant dose-dependent associations with higher risks of organ rejection and death. (2013-11-08)

Study using stem cells to improve organ transplantation to receive $12 million
An innovative Northwestern Medicine research program investigating if stem cells may be the key to allowing organ transplant patients to stop taking immunosuppressive drugs has received $12 million in research funding. The grant will allow researchers to finish Phase II of the clinical trials and begin Phase III. Northwestern began the study's clinical trial in early 2009 as part of a partnership with the University of Louisville, which engineers the specialized stem cells used in each transplant procedure. (2013-11-07)

FDA awards $2.25M grant to study immunosuppresive drug in high-risk patients
University of Cincinnati Research Professor Rita Alloway, PharmD, has been awarded a $2.25 million grant from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to study the safety and efficacy of the generic immunosuppressive drug tacrolimus in transplant patients. As a (2013-11-07)

Studies of experimental hepatitis C drug show promise for preventing recurrence in liver transplant
New drug therapies offer promise to some hepatitis C sufferers whose transplanted livers are threaten by a recurrence of the disease, including some patients who have had no treatment options. (2013-10-31)

Newly identified proteins make promising targets for blocking graft-vs.-host disease
Researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified new proteins that control the function of critical immune cell subsets called T-cells, which are responsible for a serious and often deadly side effect of lifesaving bone marrow transplants. (2013-10-31)

NEJM study evaluates early stem cell transplants for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Performing early stem cell transplants in patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma does not improve overall survival in high-risk patients, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. But early transplantation does appear to be beneficial among a small group of patients who are at the very highest risk, the study found. (2013-10-30)

University of Louisville researchers sign global licensing agreement
The University of Louisville announced Oct. 30 that researcher Dr. Suzanne Ildstad, representing Regenerex LLC, has entered into a license and research collaboration agreement with Novartis to provide access to stem cell technology that has the potential to help transplant patients avoid taking anti-rejection medicine for life and could serve as a platform for treatment of other diseases. (2013-10-30)

Study ties bone marrow transplant to negative sexual side effects
New research ties preparative procedures and complications associated with blood or bone marrow transplantation (stem cell transplantation, SCT) with diminished sexual health in both men and women who have undergone the lifesaving procedure. (2013-10-24)

Stopping transplant drugs before conception benefits fetus
Kidney transplant recipients who discontinue immunosuppressive drugs before conception have a higher rate of live births and a lower rate of birth defects without an increased risk of kidney problems. (2013-10-23)

For first time, drug developed based on zebrafish studies passes Phase I clinical trial
Zebrafish research achieved a significant milestone when the first drug developed through studies utilizing the tiny animal and then put into clinical trials passed a Phase 1 trial aimed at establishing its safety. The drug, discovered in the laboratory of Leonard Zon, M.D., at Boston Children's Hospital, has already advanced to Phase II studies designed to determine its efficacy. Results of the safety trial were reported recently in the journal Blood. (2013-10-21)

A blueprint for restoring touch with a prosthetic hand
New research at the University of Chicago is laying the groundwork for touch-sensitive prosthetic limbs that one day could convey real-time sensory information to amputees via a direct interface with the brain. The research, published early online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, marks an important step toward new technology that, if implemented successfully, would increase the dexterity and clinical viability of robotic prosthetic limbs. (2013-10-14)

Kidney failure can complicate long-term outcomes in children receiving solid-organ transplants
Children who undergo transplants of solid organs have a high risk of developing advanced kidney disease, according to a new national study. Among these children, the highest risk is in those receiving lung or intestinal transplants, followed by heart and then liver transplants. The researchers say their findings reinforce the importance of continued screening of kidney function in pediatric transplant recipients. (2013-10-14)

Study finds racial and social disparities in kidney allocation among young transplant recipients
Among kidney transplant recipients younger than 40 years of age, African Americans and individuals with less education were more likely to receive lower-quality organs than Caucasians and those with college degrees. African Americans with higher education levels were not more likely to receive a lower-quality kidney than Caucasians with college degrees. (2013-10-10)

Geographic location may help explain why Hispanics face disparities in kidney transplantation
Hispanics were just as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be put on the kidney transplant wait-list. Once wait-listed, Hispanics were less likely to receive a transplant from a deceased donor. This disparity was largely explained by differences in patient blood type and regional variability of organ supply among organ procurement organizations across the country. (2013-10-10)

Gene and stem cell therapy combination could aid wound healing
Johns Hopkins researchers, working with elderly mice, have determined that combining gene therapy with an extra boost of the same stem cells the body already uses to repair itself leads to faster healing of burns and greater blood flow to the site of the wound. (2013-10-09)

Amniotic stem cells show promise in helping to repair cardiac birth defects
Researchers at the University of Michigan Department of Surgery have begun testing an alternative to embryonic stem cells that could one day regenerate muscle tissue for babies with congenital heart defects. (2013-10-09)

Alcoholism treatment before, after liver transplantation reduces relapse
New research reports that liver transplant recipients who receive substance abuse treatment before and after transplantation have much lower alcohol relapse rates than those untreated or only treated prior to transplantation. A second study determines that continued alcohol abuse following liver transplantation decreases graft survival, further highlighting the importance of preventing alcohol relapse. Both studies are published in Liver Transplantation, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the International Liver Transplantation Society. (2013-10-03)

Newly identified biomarkers help predict outcome in deadly lung disease
A Yale-led study has identified a gene expression profile that can predict outcomes and lead to better treatment for one of the most lethal lung diseases, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The study appears in Science Translational Medicine. (2013-10-02)

Renal risk index: A clinical tool to predict the risk of end-stage renal disease
Researchers created and validated a risk score called renal risk index based upon the liver transplant recipient's characteristics at the time of transplant to predict the post- transplant end-stage renal disease. (2013-10-01)

Skin receptors convey sensation of texture through vibrations
New research shows that humans distinguish the difference between fine textures, such as silk or satin, through vibrations, which are picked up by two separate sets of nerve receptors in the skin and relayed to the brain. (2013-09-30)

First clinical study shows potential of stem cell-enriched fat grafts to transform reconstructive surgery
Stem cell-enriched fat grafting could become central to plastic and reconstructive surgery after the first randomised trial in humans confirms the technique's excellent feasibility and safety. (2013-09-26)

Autologous transplantation shows promising results for iPS cell therapy in Parkinson's disease
A research team led by Professor Jun Takahashi at CiRA, Kyoto University has carried out a study to compare the impact of immune response in autologous and allogeneic transplantation. The researchers used cynomolgus monkeys to carry out transplantation into the brain of neurons derived from iPS cells. Autologous transplantation was found to produce almost no immune reaction and to result in viable neural cells. By contrast, allogeneic transplantation provoked immune reaction by microglia and lymphocytes. (2013-09-26)

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