In The News - Volume 2 - Issue 1 - January 3, 2016

New Way to Predict Risks of Donating a Kidney
Recent studies, including that by Muzaale and colleagues,[1]suggest a slight increase in development of lifetime end-stage kidney disease in the living donor. These investigations have analyzed cohorts of varying sizes of living donors and followed their kidney-specific outcomes over years to ascertain this risk. In their recently published article, Grams and colleagues describe an interesting mathematical model to predict the likelihood of post-transplant ESRD in a potential living donor.
Dec 28/15

PSA Screening May Harm ESRD Patients Awaiting Transplant
HealthDay News -- For patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD), prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening may be harmful, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Gerardo A. Vitiello, MD, from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues examined whether use of PSA-based screening affects time to transplantation and transplant outcomes in patients with ESRD. A total of 3,782 male patients undergoing primary renal transplant evaluation during a 10-year period were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were grouped by age according to the American Urological Association screening guidelines: <55 years, 55 to 69 years, and >69 years.
Dec 30/15

Accident victims who have lost limbs or body parts are mostly left with no choice but to go for artificial limbs. But that is set to change. They will soon have an easier way to resurrect those parts through transplants without the fear of their body rejecting the transplanted parts, often obtained from dead but preserved donors. Bengaluru-based Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem) has developed a unique hydrogel that can be injected locally to prevent the body from rejecting the transplanted body part - a process in which the body's immune system fights and rejects the new transplanted body part. The new hydrogel has already been successfully tried on mice and in animal studies in Switzerland in collaboration with the University Hospital of Bern; and trials on larger animals, like pigs, are scheduled to be conducted in the USA in collaboration with specialists from Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston, USA, in the early part of 2016.
Jan 1/15

Draft guidelines issued to tackle illegal kidney trade
New Delhi: In a move to bring in greater transparency and tackle the illegal kidney trade while prioritising those in urgent need of renal transplant, the Centre has come out with draft guidelines that aim to determine criteria for receiving a kidney from a cadaver donor.
As per proposed norms, patients requiring a kidney transplant will be registered centrally by the hospital through an online process. The registration will be approved by a kidney advisory committee after evaluating the need for renal transplant. Once approved, patients will be put on "active" or "priority list" based on specific guidelines.
Jan 2/15

Bill backed by US Sen. Reed will aid bone marrow transplants
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Jack Reed is praising President Barack Obama for signing into law a bill he backed to help patients suffering from diseases requiring bone marrow and cord blood transplants.
The Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Reauthorization Act of 2015 renews funding for the National Marrow Donor Program and the National Cord Blood Inventory.
Reed said the programs have been a lifeline for thousands of patients. Their renewal marks “a critical step forward in expanding access to lifesaving therapies to millions of patients with conditions that can be treated and even cured with bone marrow or cord blood,” the Rhode Island Democrat said in a statement.
(from google alerts of Dec 28/15)

Geographic Access Issues with Liver Transplantation
The MELD (Model for End-stage Liver Disease) scoring system was developed to decrease access disparity. Despite its implementation, large geographic disparities exist in the likelihood of either being removed from the transplant list due to progressive disease or actually receiving a transplant. Better regional allocation strategies are needed.  
The Journal of the American College of Surgeons published  information that informs this issue in a study, with specific focus on the links between market competition, liver transplant center density, and liver transplant volume within individual Donor Service Areas (DSAs). The United States is divided into 11 regions and each region, in turn, is divided into multiple DSAs.
Dec 31/15

Plea for ethnic minorities to sign up as organ donors
A plea has been made to give others "a second chance at life" by registering to become an organ donor. Ministers are urging people, especially those from ethnic minorities, to sign up as a donor as their new year's resolution for 2016.
About 25% of people on the UK transplant waiting list are from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. But only 5% of donors are from these communities, making it harder to find suitable organ for transplant. A transplant is much more likely to be successful if the donor and recipient have the same ethnic origin. The shortage of suitable organs means people from minority ethnic communities wait, on average, twice as long as the general population for organ transplants.
Jan 1/15

Concern over drop in kidney transplants from living donors
The Irish Kidney Association has expressed concern about the drop in the number of kidney transplants from living donors carried out in 2015 and said it was very disappointed that no pancreas transplants were carried out.
Preliminary figures show that the target of carrying 50 kidney transplants from living donors has yet again been missed, with the number of such transplants falling to 33 for 2015, down seven on the previous year.
The figures from the Office of Organ Donation and Transplantation show though that overall the number of organ transplants for 2015 was up on the previous year.
Jan 3/15