Dear IPTA Members,
I began to write this newsletter on April 20th 2022, Transplant Nurses Day! This may be one ‘official’ day when your work is acknowledged and celebrated, but we all know that you are instrumental to the success of organ transplantation. Thank you for your dedication and pursuit for excellence! April is also Donate Life month, an initiative created in the USA in 2003 to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation. It is also an opportunity to thank living donors and relatives of deceased donors whose altruistic actions have saved many, many lives.
Slightly more than a year ago, I became the President of this great organization. Such an amazing honor! I knew that such a position was going to add more work and responsibilities to my already busy schedule. What I didn't know was how enjoyable the whole experience was going to be. I have received a great deal of support and help from a brilliant and devoted TTS team, from the EC and council members, and from the membership at large. There are no words to express my gratitude I have felt working with you.
We have had many accomplishments during this past year. The virtual congress was a smashing success!! The feedback I have received from sponsors, speakers and attendees has been very positive such as "this was the best virtual congress I have ever attended" or "technically, the congress was flawless without any glitches whatsoever" among others. Listening to the patients' stories was very moving, and they reminded why we are so involved with IPTA. We all want to improve the care of children with organ transplants all over the world. Here are some stats which will give you an indication of what we achieved:
I am also very pleased to share that we are building a culture of philanthropy to support educational programs for mid and low-income countries. During the last year, our fund-raising efforts yielded almost $40,000 in donation to support these programs. I want to thank all the donors who generously contributed to this initiative. More details on these programs will follow in the coming months.
Finally, I would like to announce that we began preparations for the next biennial IPTA Congress 2023 which will take place in the beautiful city of Austin, Texas on 25-28 March, 2023. Instruction for abstract submissions will be announced soon.
Wishing you all the best, now and always!
Carlos O. Esquivel
VISIT THE IPTA AWARDS PAGE
Dear IPTA members,
The IPTA Awards Committee is delighted to announce that nominations are now open for the IPTA 2023 Society Awards! The selected candidates will be presented with their awards at the IPTA 12th Congress on Pediatric Transplantation in Austin, Texas, March 25-28 2023.
Please take a second to think about an IPTA member who you feel has made a real difference to the pediatric transplantation community, and consider nominating them for an award! The deadline for nominations for an IPTA Award is August 1st, 2022.
IPTA Members can either apply or nominate a colleague for any of the three awards being offered:
Lifetime Achievement Award
Purpose: To recognize a member who has made outstanding contributions to the field of pediatric transplantation over the course of their career.
Future Leaders Career Development Award
Purpose: To recognize future investigators who show leadership promise, encourage them in their careers in pediatric transplantation and provide assistance to attend the IPTA Scientific Congress.
Distinguished Allied Heath & Nursing Professional Member Award
Purpose: To recognize an Allied Health and Nursing Professional member who has rendered years of faithful service to the Society and/or who has made a significant contribution to pediatric transplantation.
Submitted on behalf of the IPTA Awards Committee
Papers for the new article type entitled Global Forum can now be submitted to the Pediatric Transplant Journal.
Global Forum articles must follow the standard presentation format detailed in the journal, and should convey data from emerging pediatric transplant programs, with a focus on low and low middle income countries. These articles would address the shortage of pediatric transplant data from low resource settings. Authors may describe the transplant processes (deceased and/or living donor), patient characteristics, donor profiles and clinical outcomes of a single center, region or country. The authors are at liberty to discuss the barriers to transplantation encountered, issues in setting up a new pediatric transplant program and propose strategies to overcome these challenges, including opportunities for advocacy from the global pediatric transplant community.
From the editors of the Pediatric Transplant Journal
Sharon M. Bartosh
We would like to congratulate all the participants at the 11th Congress of the International Pediatric Transplantation Association that took place between 26-29 March 2022. The presentations showed a high level of accuracy for the pediatric transplantation field. It is our pleasure to announce the winners of the Pediatric Transplant Journal Awards:
Many thanks to all the participants and for their important and useful work.
On behalf of the Publications Committee
Our Communications Committee was formed in 2019, with the purpose to enhance the electronic and social media communications from IPTA and improve the society’s visibility, using the channels that have transformed how individuals communicate with each other. Though the pandemic intervened, we made substantial progress over the last 3 years in achieving the above objectives.
We created an IPTA Twitter handle @IPTAPedsTx that now follows 255 accounts and has 871 followers! IPTA Executive Officers and Communications Committee members have been tweeting from this account. We encourage all IPTA members who are on Twitter to follow our IPTA Twitter handle. Note that the IPTA journal Pediatric Transplantation has its own handle @pedstransjrnl. The two accounts follow each other but the journal account is handled by the publisher Wiley.
We aligned our IPTA webpage to have a similar URL name. The most recent posts through our IPTA account are now automatically shown on the IPTA website home page. The Communications Committee also assisted in making enhancements to the presentation of the IPTA home page.
IPTA then hired a professional social media expert, Sarah Ryther Francom, to handle our Twitter handle and also expand our other social media offerings. Sarah has also set up the IPTA Facebook and Instagram accounts. She is now looking at starting a Doximity account.
In the summer of 2020 we expanded the Communications Committee, to include the following members:
For the IPTA 2022 Congress in March 2022, we created a separate Twitter hashtag #ipta2022 that was very widely used by attendees. The posts had 347 mentions, 1600 interactions, 777 shares and 723 likes!
We have now developed some additional goals that we are actively working on:
Chair, Communications Committee
Dear IPTA members,
The IPTA Nominations Committee is proud to announce that IPTA is seeking qualified candidates to be considered for open Councilor and Officer positions beginning in April 2023.
Following the success of the 2022 Virtual Congress and with the 12th Congress coming up next year, now is an excellent time to be more deeply involved with the Society, providing leadership and direction at the highest level. Please don’t hesitate to nominate someone you think would be an asset to IPTA.
Nominations and applications are welcome from anyone who has been an IPTA member in good standing for at least 1 year. Service to IPTA on committees or special activities relevant to the society is an asset.
All applications will be reviewed by the IPTA Nominations Committee, who will present a final slate of candidate officers and councilors to the IPTA membership for the 2022 election.
The deadline for submission of applications is September 30, 2022.
- President-Elect (Officer)
- Secretary Treasurer (Officer)
- 3x Councilor positions (2 x Physician or Surgeon, 1 x Allied Health)
- Councilors – 4 years
- Officers – 2 years (may not serve more than one term in an officer position)
Applications must be submitted by emailing Katie Tait, IPTA Section Manager at TTS at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please review the following and gather all of the information and documents prior to proceeding to apply.
You will be asked the following:
• Briefly describe your role as it relates to pediatric transplantation (Limit 50 words)
• Please list any involvement or activities you have participated in with IPTA
• Briefly describe your reason for applying for a leadership position at this time (Limit 100 words)
You will need to supply the following documents with your email application:
• Two letters of support from two members in good standing of IPTA.
• Curriculum Vitae
• Nominee Statement (300 words): Identify and describe on key issue addressing a challenge in pediatric transplantation and why you believe that it is an important issue for IPTA to address. Please note that this will be used in materials sent to the IPTA membership
Applicants will be notified in December 2022 as to the status of their acceptance to the election slate for the 2023 election.
Sent on behalf of the IPTA Nominations Committee
In a pre-Congress session of the 2022 IPTA Congress on Saturday March 26th, 2022, Dr. Anette Melk, and Dr. Chesney Castleberry, both members of the Publication Committee, virtually hosted IPTA’s second mentorship workshop. After a short introduction by Chesney two presentations were given: Anette talked about “Tricks to Take Your Career to the Next Level” and Chesney lectured on “Tools for working with your Mentor”. These presentations were followed by eight simultaneous live breakout sessions, addressed to surgeons, nephrologists, cardiologists, pulmonologists, hepatologists, and infectious diseases specialists. Additional breakout session addressed “Successful Mentor-Mentee Relationship”, “The Path from PhD to Post- Doc and starting a Lab”, as well as “How to Move Your Career Forward in Emerging Countries”. In all these talks, mentors and mentees shared colloquial talks in a friendly atmosphere. As session were repeated twice, participants had the chance to engage with several mentors.
The Publication Committee not only considers it important to encourage young colleagues to publish, but also aims to provide them with the tools to do so. In this Newsletter, you will find names of those mentors who participated in the breakout session and are willing to help advancing younger colleagues’ careers. Mentees may get in touch with them to get access to tutoring.
We hope that among the over 600 participants of the last IPTA Congress, many will take the opportunity to get access to clinicians and researchers with the largest expertise in different areas of the transplantation field. In addition, we encouraged authors, who presented their work as posters, mini oral or oral presentations at last IPTA Congress, to publish their data in Pediatric Transplantation.
Do not miss the great opportunity to receive guidance from physicians with ample experience in their fields!
Marta L Monteverde
On behalf of the Publication Committee
December 2021 Newsletter
In our last IDCARE committee contribution to the IPTA newsletter, we appropriately focused on COVID-19 in pediatric solid organ transplantation (SOT). At this point, almost a year and a half into the pandemic, children and adolescents still represent a minority of total COVID-19 confirmed cases. Children do not seem to be very efficient transmitters of SARS-CoV-2 ancestral strains and to a lesser extent alpha variants. Now, with the emergence of delta and then omicron variants the epidemiologic paradigm has changed. Indeed, mutations increasing the affinity of SARS-CoV-2 for its cellular receptor have increased the likelihood of being infected in case of exposure for all age groups. However, as adults have always been far ahead of children in terms of vaccination coverage, they were less likely to be infected. Taken together, those two factors have led to a shift in the epidemiology, with children and young adults sometimes accounting for over half of the recent COVID-19 cases. As children are now not only more likely to be infected in case of exposure, but also more likely to transmit SARS-CoV-2, outbreaks in school settings have become increasingly prevalent, and the total number of children admitted for COVID-19 has increased from one wave to another. Fortunately, COVID-19 still causes milder disease and leads to fewer hospitalizations in children compared with adults. While data remain limited, this seems to also be the case for pediatric SOT recipients. This is in contrast to adult SOT recipients who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 when compared to healthy adults.
In terms of vaccine safety and efficacy, as our readership is acutely aware SOT recipients were excluded from the initial pivotal trials. Accordingly, data about safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of mRNA vaccines have been available later than for healthy adults, and children. As expected, humoral and cellular immune responses to mRNA vaccines are blunted in adult SOT recipients when compared to healthy adults. Randomized studies have shown that primary vaccination series with three doses led to better humoral and cellular immunogenicity in adult SOT recipients when compared to the standard two-doses series. The frequency of boosters in adult SOT recipients remains to be determined as SARS-CoV-2 will continue to circulate over the upcoming years. Even if data are scarce, humoral responses to mRNA vaccine in pediatric SOT recipients have been more robust than those seen in their adult counterparts, albeit lower than in healthy children. The ideal immunization regimen in pediatric SOT recipients remain to be defined as <5yo and 5-11yo respectively receive 1/10 and 1/3 of the adult antigen dose. One option would be to replicate the adult schedule with a 3-dose primary series of the age-appropriate antigen dose. Another possibility would be to propose a 2-doses primary series, although with a higher antigen dose, as previously done in adults SOT recipients with the high-dose influenza vaccine. Ultimately, well-designed immunogenicity studies in pediatric SOT recipients will clarify this question, meanwhile providers should be aware of local regulations on vaccines which may impact availability for different age groups. In terms of safety, there has been no signal towards an increased alloreactivity following mRNA vaccines so far.
Nowadays, more than two years into the pandemic, and at the point where it seems that we are finally moving towards SARS-CoV-2 endemicity, the pediatric community faces new infectious challenges. First, a new mutation in zika virus capsid significantly increases the epidemic potential of the virus. Then, and likely more relevant to the pediatric SOT community, several countries have been reporting outbreaks of hepatitis of unknown etiology in children and adolescent, with some requiring liver transplantation. Emerging data suggest an infectious cause, maybe an adenovirus, but more data will be needed to confirm causality given the ubiquity of this pathogen in children. Finally, common viruses such as respiratory syncytial virus and influenza have been appearing at unusual times as local communities decrease their COVID-19 mitigation strategies such as masking and social distancing. Invariably these viruses will impact our pediatric SOT recipients as well.
So, until next time, stay safe, wash your hands, and vaccinate!
Prepared by Arnaud G. L’Huillier and Marian Michaels
on behalf of the IPTA IDCARE committee
The IPTA Communications Committee has partnered with TTS to create the IPTA ListServ! This invaluable resource is designed to be the go-to place for all of those questions about challenging cases in pediatric transplantation that you need answers about from experts in real time. Please go to https://tts.org/ipta-members-area/ipta-listserv to sign up.