The Transplantation Society is a non-profit NGO providing global leadership in transplantation. Our core mission include the development of the science and clinical practice, scientific communication, continuing education and guidance on the ethical practice.

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Advancement of organ regeneration for transplantation

Last week an article appeared in Wired magazine about a recently paper published in Science Translational Medicine, “Production and transplantation of bioengineered lung into a large-animal model”. The Transplantation Society asked one of our own experts, Christopher Burlak from the University of Minnesota, to provide our readership with a commentary regarding the advancement of organ regeneration for transplantation.

Commentary on the advance of organ regeneration for transplantation.

BurlakChristopher Burlak, Associate Professor of Surgery and Scientific Program Director of the Schulze Diabetes Institute at the University of Minnesota.

One of the most challenging organs to transplant is the lung.  Because of a complex mucosal network riddled with immune cells, transplanted lungs are very sensitive to rejection during allo- or xeno-transplantation.  If one could, however, grow a lung from cells of the future recipient, perhaps immune mediated rejection would not be an issue.  The challenges of growing bioengineered organs are not trivial, as described by Dr. Joan Nichols and her colleagues in the recently published article in Science Translational Medicine titled, “Production and transplantation of bioengineered lung into a large-animal model”[1].  Mr. Robbie Gonzalez has written a commentary[2] for the magazine Wired that highlights their scientific achievement.  I was inspired by Mr. Gonzalez’s commentary and reached out to Dr. Nichols to discuss the science, the challenges, and what comes next. 

Continue reading the commentary ...

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Many of these important topics will be discussed at IXA 2019. Make sure to mark your calendar!

Read more about the IXA 2019 Congress

October 2018 Liver Transplant Symposium

ilts malaysia

Continuing our strong partnership with the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS), The Liver Transplant Symposium 2018, organised by the National University Centre for Organ Transplantation (NUCOT), will be held from 19 – 21 October 2018 in Singapore.

This symposium aims to advance knowledge and expertise in liver transplantation, through multi-disciplinary collaborations within the transplant community to improve the outcomes of our patients.

A key segment of The Liver Transplant Symposium 2018 is undoubtedly the inaugural Living Donor Summit, which will be the first of its kind in Asia. Organised in partnership with the ILTS and The Transplantation Society (TTS), world-renowned key opinion leaders will be invited to discuss state of the art topics, focussing on ethical considerations and best practices in living donor liver transplantation in South East Asia.

The first day of the symposium will also feature a Liver Transplant Surgical Workshop, Simulation in Anaesthesia for Liver Transplantation (SALT) Workshop and Transplant Hepatology Workshop, which have all been very well received in past years by both senior clinicians and trainees.

We look forward to welcoming you to The Liver Transplant Symposium 2018 in Singapore.

Visit the symposium website

Interesting CNN article on face transplantation

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Katie Stubblefield tried to kill herself with a gun at 18; now, she is the youngest face transplant recipient in US history.

She is featured on the cover of National Geographic magazine's September issue, which debuted Tuesday, in an article titled "The Story of a Face" and in National Geographic's full-length documentary "Katie's Face."

Read the full article

Highlighted Article - Transplantation Direct

Dr Peri Kocabayoglu, Editorial Fellow, Transplantation.

Liver Enzymes and the Development of Posttransplantation Diabetes Mellitus in Renal Transplant Recipients.
Klaassen G, Corpeleijn E, Deetman NPE, et al.
Transplant Direct.

Posttransplantation diabetes mellitus (PTDM) increases the risk of graft failure, infections, cardiovascular disease, and early mortality. Risk factors including immunosuppression, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections, waist cirucumference, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension have been identified. Impaired function and steatosis of the liver are observed as part of the metabolic syndrome.
In this prospective cohort study, Klaassen and coworkers tested the link between liver enzymes and PTDM in 500 kidney transplant recipients. Patients with diabetes at the time of transplantation were excluded.

During a follow up of 9.6 years, 15.2% of renal transplant recipients developed PTDM. The authors found that levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) were significantly (and independently) associated with PTDM. Moreover, elevated liver enzymes were associated with increased BMI and waist circumference, supporting the concept that abdominal and hepatic fat accumulation are closely linked. The administration of Tacrolimus did not seem to impact the predictive capacity of elevated liver enzymes for the development of PTDM.
Limitations of this study include a lack of abdominal imaging or liver biopsies as objective parameters of steatosis and adipositas. Moreover, insulin resistance has also not been tested.  Nevertheless, this study may have clinical implications linking elevated liver enzymes as markers of an impaired hepatic glucose metabolism with PTDM.


Highlighted Tweet by Transplantation Direct



Scientists identify why some kidney transplants don't work

August 13 - Scientists have discovered a 'molecular signature' for the allostatic load – or 'wear and tear' of kidneys – which could help clinicians understand why some kidney transplants don't work as well as expected. The University of Glasgow-led research, published today in Aging Cell and based on a first-of-its-kind study, can now explain why allostatic load develops at a molecular and cellular level, how it affects physiological function and the role of age-related organ capability and resilience.


Spain and Italy perform the first international paired kidney exchange in Southern Europe

August 9 - One patient in Spain and another in Italy were able to receive a living donor kidney transplant thanks to the exchange of organs from their respective donors.

MESOT 2018 - Less THan 3 weeks away!


TTS will be exhibiting at MESOT and a large number of TTS members will be attending or presenting at the Congress. There is still time to register, see link below!

Visit the MESOT 2018 Website

In the News

New Medications May Increase Available Organs for Transplant

August 9 - Until recently, organs from donors who died of drug overdoses were often discarded due to concerns about hepatitis C.


Turning cells into factories

August 10 - Researchers in the University of Georgia College of Engineering have developed a new genetic “smart circuit” that could signal an important advance in the field of metabolic engineering. They outline their findings in a study published this month in the journal Nature Communications.


3D-printed nerve stem cells could help patch up spinal cord injuries

August 10 - Spinal injuries can be like downed power lines – even if everything on either side of the injury is perfectly functional, the break can effectively shut down the whole system. Now, researchers at the University of Minnesota have designed a device that could link everything back together again. A silicone guide, covered in 3D-printed neuronal stem cells, can be implanted into the injury site, where it grows new connections between remaining nerves to let patients regain some motor control.m.


Program testing EHR role in speeding organ donation process

August 13 - The United Network for Organ Sharing is working with software vendors Cerner and Statline to automate manual processes surrounding organ donations. The initiative aims to improve the process for notifying hospitals about potential organ donors, with the hopes of reducing the time it takes to get an organ to needy patients.


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Transplantation Direct - August Issue now available

LargeRollover.01845228 201808000 00000.CVThe August issue of Transplantation Direct covers several topics in transplantation. In kidney transplantation, KDRI and Leuven score predictors of allograft survival are compared for utility; another study looks at celiac-like duodenopathy in the differential diagnosis of MPA-associated diarrhea. Studies in lung transplantation report on viral respiratory tract infections and chronic allograft dysfunction, and on the occurrence and sequelae of hypogammaglobinemia; both studies focus on data in the first year posttransplantation. In intestinal transplantation, we include two reports: one investigation looks at the occurrence and impact of cases requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation, and the other study reports on results from patients receiving transplants from an identical twin. The growing problem of posttransplant malignancy and increasing use of checkpoint inhibitors for treatment is examined; a case of liver allograft failure is reported with nivolumab treatment, and a review of the literature of additional cases is provided. Regarding the topic of organ donation, we have a survey analysis devoted to examining attitudes of potential donors with stage 5 chronic kidney disease. We hope that you find this issue both engaging and stimulating.



Ground-breaking study tests whether rejected livers can be made viable for transplantation

August 2 - A ground-breaking study is underway at the University of Birmingham and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham to establish if livers that have been rejected for transplantation can be made viable by using a liver perfusion machine.



Should Australia change its organ donation laws? | 60 Minutes Australia


Dr Dominique Martin, an expert in the ethics of organ donation, tells 60 Minutes that while recipients and donor families knowing each other can be a wonderful experience – it's not without pitfalls


HighlightED ARTICLE - Transplantation Journal
Effects of Kidney Transplantation on Labor Market Outcomes in Sweden



Australia - Innovative dialysis system awarded $2.2 million

medical devices fund the george

New South Wales Minister for Health and Medical Research The Hon Brad Hazzard has announced Ellen Medical Devices, the developer of The George Institute's affordable dialysis system, as a recipient of a grant from the 2018 NSW Medical Devices Fund.

The affordable dialysis system has the potential to save millions of lives as an innovative and affordable device which costs under $1,000 to build and $5 a day to run, improving access to the life-saving treatment for vulnerable populations.



HighlightED ARTICLE - Transplantation Direct

Long-term Prognosis and Recurrence of Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis After Liver Transplantation: A Single-Center Experience.

Submitted by Dr Peri Kocabayoglu, Editorial Fellow, Transplantation.

Ueda Y, Kaido T, Okajima H, et al.  Transplant Direct. 2017;3;e334.

For patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) as the underlying cause of end-stage liver disease, liver transplantation (LT) provides the only life-saving treatment. However, recurrence of the disease is frequent. Multiple risk factors appear to play a role.

In this sinlge-center retrospective chart review of 45 patients transplanted at Kyoto University from 1996 – 2015, Ueda and coworkers present risk factors for PSC recurrence and graft survival. 39/45 patients received a living-donor LT, 2/45 a deceased donor, and 4/45 a domino LT. Factors that could predict PSC recurrence were analyzed by comparing patients with (n=16) and without (n=24) PSC recurrence; patients with an arterial thrombosis or those who received an ABO-incompatible LDLT were excluded from the analysis. The graft survival rates were 55.4% at 5 years and 32.8% by all patients in the cohort. PSC recurrence was diagnosed in 40% of patients by 30 months after transplantation (median, range 9-70 months).
Risk factor for graft failure in a univariate analysis included: age < 30 years at the time of PSC diagnosis (P = 0.005), female donor (P = 0.029), HLA-DR15 positivity (P = 0.032), and bacteremia within 1 year after liver transplantation (P = 0.014). In a multivariate analysis, age < 30 years at time of PSC diagnosis (HR, 3.77; 95% CI, 1.28-11.1; P = 0.016) and bacteremia within 1 year after liver transplantation (HR, 2.38; 95% CI, 1.07-5.30; P = 0.034) had been identified as independent predictors of PSc reoccurrence.

While the retrospective analysis in addition to the small size represent limitations, long follow-up period of this study appears unique.


MESOT 2018 Program now available


TTS will be exhibiting at MESOT and a large number of TTS members will be attending or presenting at the Congress. There is still time to register, see link below!


In the News

Transplant with HCV-Infected Kidney Seems Feasible - Small trial found good cure rate, renal function in HCV-negative patients

August 7 - In a cohort of 20 HCV-negative patients, all patients were able to achieve HCV cure after transplantation with an infected kidney, reported Peter Reese, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues.


Nonprofit’s plan to take over the U.S. organ network is thwarted

August 3 - A government legal opinion has dashed the hopes of an upstart nonprofit organization that wants to take over operation of the nation’s organ transplant network. Organs for Life, a new nonprofit critical of the way the transplant system is run, hoped to bid for the fiscal 2019 contract to oversee the vast and complex U.S. organ transplant system.


New system of consent for organ and tissue donation in England announced by ministers

August 5 - The government has announced the introduction of a new “soft” opt-out system for organ and tissue donation in England, in order to tackle a shortage of donors.


Around 300,000 organ donors registered in Qatar

August 4 - Nearly 35,000 people have registered to become an organ donor since May when Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) launched its annual organ donation campaign, that was kicked off during Ramadan and will run until the end of this year. Since the Qatar Organ Donor Registry was launched in 2012, around 300,000 donors, or 15 percent of the country’s adult population, have signed up to become an organ dono


Australians going overseas to get organ transplants in higher numbers than expected

August 2 - To get a more accurate picture, Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) president-elect Toby Coates surveyed members of the transplant community to see how many had dealt with patients who had overseas transplants.


UCLA researchers discover how the body regenerates blood vessel lining

August 2 - Normal wear and tear damages the blood vessel lining, which is called the endothelial lining. The body, however, has the ability to initiate molecular activity that regenerates and repairs this damage. Now, researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA have for the first time followed this regeneration in progress and identified the genes and proteins responsible for spurring it.


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