In The News - Volume 1 - Issue 2 - March 3, 2015

Kidney transplants a viable option for some HIV-positive patients
Feb. 12, 2015 - NEJM - The survival rates of HIV-positive patients who have received kidney transplants from HIV-positive donors are showing significant success, according to a recently published paper by UCT academics (co-authors TTS members Elmi Muller, Zunaid Barday and Delawir Khan) in the New England Journal of Medicine (12 February 2015) shows that kidney transplants from HIV-positive deceased donors is a viable additional treatment option for selected HIV-infected patients (on antiretroviral treatment) who need renal replacement therapy. more

Bionic reconstruction gives men first prosthetic hands controlled by mind
Feb. 25, 2015 - The Guardian - Austrians have injured limbs amputated, then nerves and muscles transplanted from leg to arm are used to control prosthetic hands. “This is the first time we have bionically reconstructed a hand,” said Dr Oskar Aszmann, of the Medical University of Vienna, who developed the approach with colleagues. “If I saw these kinds of patients five to seven years ago, I would have just shrugged my shoulders and said ‘there’s nothing I can do for you.’”more

Australia-first double lung transplant using damaged lungs saves Sydney man’s life
March 1, 2015 - Australia - A REVOLUTIONARY double lung transplant which saved the life of Sydney man Michael Fattal has paved the way for more life-saving organ donations across Australia and the world. The 27-year-old had battled cystic fibrosis since birth and became chronically ill with the disease over the past two years, until he was unable to walk a short distance without running out of breath. Mr Fattal’s doctor was St Vincent’s Hospital's Lung Transplantation Medical Director Allan Glanville who is a TTS Member more

Cash for human kidneys: A bad idea is back
February 27, 2015 - The Hill - By David Jonathan Cohen (TTS Member) -In 1983, along with many other kidney doctors, I received an unsettling letter from a new organization established to set up a market in human kidneys.The International Kidney Exchange, Ltd, as the venture was known, offered a simple business model: buying kidneys from live donors and selling them to people in need of transplants. The negative response was immediate and overwhelming. Within a year, the National Organ Transplantation Act, sponsored by Rep. Al Gore Jr. (D-Tenn.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), was enacted, outlawing organ donation in exchange for what was termed “valuable consideration.” more

Many organ transplant surgeons in U.S. experience burnout
February 25, 2015 - ScienceDaily - -Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to a national study on transplant surgeon burnout Related Articles Transplant rejection Organ transplant Skin grafting Face transplant Kidney transplantation Cockroach The findings are published this month in the AJT. Senior staff psychologist Michelle Jesse, Ph.D., led the Henry Ford Transplant Institute study, with liver transplant surgeon Dr. Marwan Abouljoud (TTS Member) and Henry Ford senior staff psychologist Anne Eshelman, Ph.D. more

Indian NGO, UK health authority ink MoU to improve organ donation rates
February 28, 2015 - India - Representatives from an Indian NGO Mohan Foundation and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) met at the House of Lords on 26th Feb 2015 to sign an important Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing to work together to learn from each other's experiences. NHS Blood and Transplant is the organ donor organisation for the UK, and has agreed to share their expertise in increasing the number of organ donors, matching and allocating donated organs and auditing, analysing and publishing both organ donation and outcomes after transplantation. more

Healthcare ventures: City to get new heart care facility by 2017
Feb. 27, 2015 - Pakistan- Karachi will receive a new heart care and children’s health facility by 2017 with the inauguration of Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation’s (SIUT) Children and Cardiac Hospital on Friday. SIUT founder Prof Adibul Hasan Rizvi and Turkish doctor Prof Mehmet Haberal inaugurated the Children and Cardiac Hospital on Friday. The new hospital will cater to cases of urology, nephrology, transplantation and cardiology, and will be an additional facility at the SIUT. It is being built with the financial assistance of the Sindh government and other donors. The 235-bed hospital located inside a 13-storey building will cost Rs2 billion and will take nearly two years to complete. It will also have a fully-functional laboratory. more

National kidney transplant programme needed, say urologists
February 25, 2015 - Jamaica - PRESIDENT of the Jamaica Urological Society Dr Michael Brooks has called for the establishment of a national kidney transplant programme, the absence of which is forcing patients to be dependent on dialysis. Speaking with the Jamaica Observer Sunday at the 22nd annual JUS Symposium focusing on renal transplantation at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, Dr Brooks said the Government needs to step up to the plate. more

Taiwan to train doctors from 3 allies in liver transplantation
Feb. 26, 2015 - Taiwan- The Kaohsiung branch of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH) on Friday said it will provide training to doctors from three of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies in the field of liver diseases and transplantation. Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Paraguay have accepted an invitation to send medical teams to the hospital in southern Taiwan, where they will be trained to perform liver transplants and to upgrade their general ability to treat liver diseases, the hospital said in a statement. Chen Chao-long (TTS Member), superintendent of CGMH Kaohsiung branch, had made the offer during his visit to Latin America earlier this month under the auspices of Taiwan's Foreign Ministry. more

Spain organ transplants get high speed rail boost
February 24, 2015 - Spain- Spanish doctors are to use high-speed trains to transport organs for transplant under a new deal between the country’s health and infrastructure ministries. Spain is already the world leader in terms of donations per capita and this latest logistical advance is viewed as an opportunity to boost the number of kidney transplants in which partners from couples without compatibility donate their organs to other couples in a chain of solidarity more

A New Initiative on Precision Medicine
Feb. 26, 2015 - NEJM Perspective - “Tonight, I'm launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes — and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.” — President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, January 20, 2015. Perspective by Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., and Harold Varmus, M.D.
N Engl J Med 2015; 372:793-795February 26, 2015DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1500523 more - no subscription required

Lung Allocation Score Guidelines For Prioritizing Lung Transplant Allocations Revised
February 24, 2015 - USA (OPTN)- The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) has released modified guidelines to their Lung Allocation Score (LAS) system, effective February 19, 2015. Dr. Maryam Valapour, the Director of Lung Transplant Outcomes at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio was instrumental in the analysis of the new LAS guidelines, and also has just coauthored the OPTN/SRTR 2013 Annual Data Report on the state of the lung transplant medicine. more