Donor intervention strategies have potential to increase number of transplantable organs

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In a recent article published in The Hastings Center Report, the authors assert that “interventional research on deceased organ donors and donor organs prior to transplant holds the promise of reducing the number of patients who die waiting for an organ by expanding the pool of transplantable organs and improving transplant outcomes.” The authors posit, “one of the key challenges researchers face is an assumption that someone who receives an organ that was part of an interventional research ...

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Nanoparticles “trick” body into accepting organ transplants

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Using nanoparticles, Yale researchers have developed a drug-delivery system that could reduce organ transplant complications by hiding the donated tissue from the recipient’s immune system.

About 25,000 organ transplants are performed in the U.S. each year. Despite significant advances in the field, short-term and long-term organ rejection still poses a risk (rejection rates vary depending on the type of organ). The risk of rejection is even higher when the donor is deceased, due to organ damage.

T cells, the white blood cells ...

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Novel procedure improves kidney transplant success

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A new treatment might open the door for more patients with advanced kidney disease to get a transplant, a preliminary study suggests.

Of the 100,000-plus Americans waiting for a donor kidney, about one-third are “sensitized,” said Dr. Robert Montgomery, director of the Transplant Institute at NYU Langone in New York City.

Those patients face a tough situation: They harbor immune system antibodies that are primed to attack a donor organ.

The antibodies can form when a person is ...

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Pros and Cons: Infecting patients with hepatitis C to save their lives

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Around the country, physicians have begun transplanting HIV-positive organs into HIV-positive patients, thanks to the reversal in 2013 of a 1998 law that banned their use. And it has become standard for transplant centers to give hep C–positive organs to patients who already have a hep C infection. Now doctors have crossed a medical threshold—and an ethical one: giving infected kidneys and livers to people who had no trace of hep C to help them get an organ ...

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Engineered liver tissue expands after transplant

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Many diseases, including cirrhosis and hepatitis, can lead to liver failure. More than 17,000 Americans suffering from these diseases are now waiting for liver transplants, but significantly fewer livers are available.

To help address that shortage, researchers at MIT, Rockefeller University, and Boston University have developed a new way to engineer liver tissue, by organizing tiny subunits that contain three types of cells embedded into a biodegradable tissue scaffold. In a study of mice with damaged livers, the researchers found that ...

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Researchers discover indicator of lung transplant rejection

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Research by scientists at Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center’s Norton Thoracic Institute was published in the July 12, 2017 issue of Science Translational Medicine titled, “Zbtb7a induction in alveolar macrophages is implicated in anti-HLA-mediated lung allograft rejection.”

This research was conducted at the laboratories of Thalachallour Mohanakumar, PhD and Deepak Nayak’s PhD at the Norton Thoracic Institute in Phoenix, Ariz. The labs are dedicated to the understanding of immunologic reactions leading to graft rejection following human lung transplantation.

Lung transplantation, where diseased lungs ...

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Scientists develop first app and method to predict heart events after liver transplant

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The first app and score to determine the one-year risk of a liver transplant patient dying or being hospitalized for a heart attack or other cardiovascular complication has been developed by Northwestern Medicine scientists.

“Knowing the patient’s risk is critical to help prevent the frequent cardiac complications that accompany liver transplant surgery and to determine which patients are likely to survive the transplant,” said Dr. Lisa VanWagner, an assistant professor of medicine and preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of ...

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New study suggests many discarded kidneys could prolong life

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The results of a new study suggest that high discard rates among donated kidneys could be avoided in the future. Researchers say that even kidneys with poor biopsy results may be more efficient in prolonging patients’ lifespans than other treatments.

According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), so far this year, 6,099 kidneys have been donated in the United States. Of these, living donors provided 2,223 kidneys, with the remaining 3,876 having been collected from deceased ...

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Could donor organs be frozen to save lives later?

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Long-term preservation of donor organs and tissue for on-demand transplants and medical procedures sounds futuristic — something of the medical ideal.

Need a heart or kidney transplant? Just grab one from the freezer. But, hey, the Arctic wood frog thaws and reanimates each year after being frozen for 240 days, so why can’t the same be done for human hearts, lungs and livers?

Such research, long underway with success in preserving skin tissue and heart valves, largely has remained off the radar, ...

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CNBC reports on new technology to combat organ shortage

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Every year, tens of thousands of Americans receive new organs, giving them a new lease on life when the ones they were born with start to fail. In 2016 there were more than 33,600 transplants, a number that has risen by 20 percent in the past five years.

However, there are many more than that waiting on the transplant list — about 120,000 people total. Sometimes they wait for years; an average of about Continue Reading →

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