In The News - Volume 2 - Issue 12 - March 21, 2016

Scientists identify molecular markers of kidney transplant rejection
Now a study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) shows that genome-wide molecular profiling of kidney biopsies may be a key to catching organ rejection before it's too late. The research demonstrates that acute and chronic kidney rejection—currently believed to be separate diseases—are actually different parts of the arc of the same immune rejection process.

Biomarkers can help guide immune-suppressing treatment after organ transplantation
Recently discovered biomarkers may provide valuable new approaches to monitoring immunosuppressive drug therapy in organ transplant recipients--with the potential for individualized therapy to reduce organ rejection and minimize side effects, according to a special article in the April issue of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, official journal of the International Association of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Clinical Toxicology. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer. "Biomarkers should help to tailor immunosuppressive therapy to the needs of the individual patient," according to the review by an international Expert Committee. The initial "Barcelona Consensus Statement" includes a preliminary set of recommended tests for use in biomarker-based immunosuppressive drug management after organ transplantation. The lead author is Mercè Brunet, PhD, of Hospital Clinico de Barcelona.

Leeds doctors perform landmark kidney transplant from a baby deemed brain dead
The procedure saw doctors use a ventilator to keep the baby’s heart beating to preserve its kidneys for transplantation after it was declared that the child no longer had any brain activity.
Experts from Leeds St James’s Hospital were drafted in to perform the operation at an undisclosed hospital late last year, according to a Sunday newspaper.
It was the first transplant involving a beating heart baby donor, who was less than two months old, since rules changed in April 2015.
Until recently, organs could only be retrieved from a baby under two months old if it had first been certified dead as a result of the heart stopping.

 Fertility hope for cancer victims as woman becomes world's first to have baby after frozen ovary is re-implanted 
A woman hopes to be the first to become pregnant after having an ovary removed as an eight-year-old then re-implanted.
Moaza Alnatrooshi, 23, had one of her ovaries removed and frozen before undergoing chemotherapy.
If an embryo is implanted successfully next month, she will be the first woman to become pregnant after having her ovary frozen well before puberty.
Mrs Alnatrooshi’s remaining ovary had been left only partially functioning after treatment and, at the age of 21, she suffered an early menopause.
Last year doctors arranged for the frozen ovary to be transported to Denmark, where the transplant took place. 
The ovarian tissue was re-implanted last August, with Dr Sara Matthews, who is a consultant gynaecologist at the private Portland Hospital for women and children in London, assisting the Danish doctors who have pioneered ovary freezing and transplantation.

Hahnemann could perform nation's first organ transplant from HIV-positive donors
Hahnemann University Hospital announced Monday that it has received permission to perform kidney and liver transplants from HIV-positive donors to HIV-positive patients, putting it in the running to become the first hospital in the nation to do so. The news signals hope to HIV-positive patients who want to donate kidneys to spouses or other loved ones who also have HIV. Such donations were not even legal until 2013, when Congress passed the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act. "It's a positive because it allows the HIV-positive patients who so much want to, to give back," said Dr. David Reich, chief of multi-organ transplantation at Hahnemann.

'Lung washing' gives fresh hope to those waiting on transplants
Patients who are desperate for a life-saving transplant have been given fresh hope after a pioneering treatment of "washing" donor lungs was successfully performed in Ireland.
The treatment, known as Ex-Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP), takes organs that might otherwise be unusable and makes them good for transplantation.
It allowed cystic fibrosis patient Leigh Bagnall (20) to receive new lungs in a procedure at the Mater Hospital in Dublin. It could help some of the 30 patients who are on the waiting list and ultimately increase the number of successful transplant procedures at the hospital. Surgeon Karen Redmond, who led the transplant team, said the technique allows for donor lungs to be reconditioned to make them safe for transplantation.
The process helps find potential infection or a clot which can be removed over the course of four hours. There are currently 30 people on the waiting list for a new lung at the Mater and this process means that half of all donated lungs deemed unsuitable can now be used.

McKinney Man Undergoes First Artificial Bridge to Heart Transplantation in North Texas
A surgical team at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas successfully performed a heart transplant on a patient being kept alive with a total artificial heart.
The artificial heart is a portable device that pumps blood throughout the body when both sides of the human heart fail. Bryan Tyo suffered a "widow maker" heart attack while working out back in January.

Naive Stem Cells derived directly from inner cell mass of human embryo
In a breakthrough study, scientists at the University of Cambridge have been able to derive the so-called ‘naïve’ pluripotent stem cells from human embryos. Naïve pluripotent stem cells are the most flexible types of stem cells that can develop into all tissues except the placenta. They are generally found and isolated from the blastocyst, which forms at day five after fertilization.
In this work, scientists from the Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute managed to isolate the cells from the blastocyst at around day six after fertilization and grow them individually in culture.

Health Ministry: 99.8% on organ donor waiting list are kidney patients
KUALA LUMPUR: A staggering 99.8% of Malaysians under the organ donor waiting list are kidney patients. 
But with the low number of people streaming in to pledge organs, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam (pic) said that patients would have to wait longer to find a donor match and get a second lease on life. 
There are 19,895 patients on Malaysia's organ waiting list. Of that number 19,871 are in need of a kidney; 10 are liver patients; six are heart patients, and eight are in need of lungs. In a written reply to Ahmad Lai Bujang (PBB - Sibuti), the Minister said that the donor rate in Malaysia was one donor per one million citizens. In comparison, neighbouring Singapore in 2004 had an organ donor rate of 35 per million citizens.