In The News - Volume 1 - Issue 5 - March 26, 2015

UK surgeons complete Europe's first 'dead heart' transplant
March 26 - Dailymail.co.uk - Donor hearts are usually from people who are brain-stem dead, but whose hearts are still beating. In this case, the organ came from a donor after their heart and lungs had stopped functioning. Surgeons at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire restored function to the heart before placing it on an Organ Care System to maintain its quality before it was transplanted. [more]

Combating Trafficking in Human Organs: International Conference and Opening for signature of the Council of Europe Convention
March 25 - the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking in Human Organs, the first ever international treaty to combat this crime, was opened for signature in the framework of the High-level international Conference, organised by the Council of Europe and the Spanish government, for two days in Santiago de Compostela. Albania, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Republic of Moldova, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom signed the Convention. [more] | Read the Launch speech by Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland

Three Cambodians convicted in first kidney trafficking case
PHNOM PENH (AFP) - A Cambodian court on Friday sentenced three people to between 10 and 15 years jail for organ trafficking, after they persuaded poor Cambodians to sell their kidneys to wealthy compatriots undergoing dialysis in Thailand.[more]

Doctors reconstruct artificial bladder of 17-yr-old before kidney transplant
March 26 - DNA - In a complex treatment protocol, doctors at BLK hospital here first recreated and enlarged Ravi's bladder and trained him to empty the bladder himself before doing the kidney transplant. [more]

They're ALL Good: Unrelated Donors vs Siblings
March 26 - Medscape - A medical milestone occurred this week in world of bone marrow donations: worldwide, 25 million people are now listed as potential volunteer marrow donors, according to two nonprofit groups. This landmark achievement dovetails nicely with other recent news — that outcomes are similar whether patients receive a transplant from an unrelated donor or a sibling. [more]

Stem cell therapy could reverse Type 2 diabetes, UBC study finds
Timothy Kieffer, a professor in UBC's department of cellular and physiological sciences, says researchers have followed the mice with surgically implanted cells for up to seven months and they have remained healthy. [more]

What to do with kidneys from older deceased donors?
March 26 - Washington, DC - A new study highlights the best way to use kidneys from older deceased donors, providing the most benefits to patients and addressing the worsening organ shortage. The study's findings, which appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), could lead to changes in current transplant allocation policies. [more]

Rapid testing for gene variants in kidney donors may optimize transplant outcomes
March 24 - MedicalXpress - Kidney transplantation outcomes from deceased African-American donors may improve through rapid testing for apolipoprotein L1 gene (APOL1) renal risk variants at the time of organ recovery, according to a new study led by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. [more]

Stem cells make similar decisions to humans
March 25 - Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have captured thousands of progenitor cells of the pancreas on video as they made decisions to divide and expand the organ or to specialize into the endocrine cells that regulate our blood sugar levels. [more]

Scientists coax stem cells to form 3-D mini lungs
In a study published in the online journal eLife  the multi-institution team defined the system for generating the self-organizing human lung organoids, 3-D structures that mimic the structure and complexity of human lungs. [more]

Live donor LT found effective for patients with acute liver failure
March 24 - healio.com - “Since acute liver failure can deteriorate within hours or days to coma or death, waiting time is critical for this patient group,” Markus Selzner, MD, of the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at Toronto General Hospital, said in a press release. “If a living donor is available, liver transplantation can be performed without delay, reducing the risk of death or permanent disability of the recipient.” [more]

TSRI team discovers enzyme that keeps blood stem cells functional to prevent anemia
March 23 - Scripps - Stem cells can generate any type of cell in the body, but they are inactive most of the time--and for good reason. When stem cells become too active and divide too often, they risk acquiring cell damage and mutations. In the case of blood stem cells (also called hematopoietic stem cells or HSCs), this can lead to blood cancers, a loss of blood cells and an impaired ability to fight disease. [more]

Blood test uses human stem cells to predict severe drug reactions
March 25 - Scientists have developed a blood test using human stem cells that predicts whether new drugs will cause severe side effects. The test, which only requires blood from a single donor, could help prevent catastrophic inflammatory reactions known as a cytokine storm in people participating in drug trials. [more]

Novel nanoparticle therapy promotes wound healing
March 26 -  Albert Einstein College of Medicine - An experimental therapy developed by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University cut in half the time it takes to heal wounds compared to no treatment at all. Details of the therapy, which was successfully tested in mice, were published online in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. [more]

MDC researchers greatly increase precision of new genome editing tool
March 25 - Biology & Nature - Now, using a molecular trick, Dr. Van Trung Chu and Professor Klaus Rajewsky of the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) Berlin-Buch and Dr. Ralf Kühn, MDC and Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), have found a solution to considerably increase the efficiency of precise genetic modifications by up to eightfold. [more]12. 

Advances and challenges in immunotherapy for solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
March 25 - Sci Transl Med 25 - This review outlines the current immunological limitations for hematopoietic stem cell and solid organ transplantation and discusses new immune-modulating therapies in preclinical development and in clinical trials that may allow these obstacles to be overcome. [more]

Mexico double-transplant patient files third U.S. visa application
March 26 - washingtonpost.com - Jose Chua Lopez (left) holds hands with his mother, Myra Lopez Martinez, during a news conference last May in Hermosillo, Mexico. Family and friends raised thousands of dollars to send Jose Chua Lopez to the prestigious Mayo Clinic for an urgently needed heart and liver transplant. But the 20-year-old Mexican born with a heart defect has twice been turned down for a U.S. visa, and relatives and his doctor say his life is in danger. [more]

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