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A Night at the Opera: a goodwill concert celebrating organ transplant –

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – About 3,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ in Michigan today. According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, about 20 people die waiting each day, because the number in need greatly …
Organ transplants in Ontario have increased by 22 per cent in five yearsCanada NewsWire (press release)all 3 news articles »

New Discovery Could Soon Replace The Painful Bone Marrow … – Wall Street Pit

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Wall Street Pit

New Discovery Could Soon Replace The Painful Bone Marrow …
Wall Street Pit
New implant could treat immune and blood disorders without the critical side effects of a traditional bone marrow transplant. May 16, 2017 WSP. human body.

A transplant and a cure: Research team eradicates hepatitis C in 10 patients following lifesaving transplants from … – Science Daily

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Ten patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease. The findings point to new strategies for increasing the supply of organs for the nation’s more than 97,000 patients who are awaiting kidney transplants — often for as many as five or more years.

In 2016, Penn Medicine launched an innovative clinical trial to test the effect of transplanting kidneys from donors with HCV into patients currently on the kidney transplant waitlist who do not have the virus, and who opt in to receive these otherwise unused organs. Recipients were then treated with an antiviral therapy in an effort to cure the virus. Early data from the study were presented today by David S. Goldberg, MD, MSCE, an assistant professor of Medicine and Epidemiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, at the 2017 American Transplant Congress in Chicago, and were simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“We started this trial in the hopes that, if successful, we could open up an entirely new pool of donor organs, and effectively transplant hundreds, if not thousands, more patients who are awaiting a lifesaving organ,” Goldberg said. “Historically, Hepatitis C-infected kidneys were often discarded, and were thought to be damaged or too ‘high-risk.’ Our pilot data demonstrate the ability to cure the contracted virus following transplantation in this patient population. If future studies are successful, this may be a viable option for patients who may otherwise never see a transplant.”

Goldberg, who co-led the study with Peter Reese, MD, MSCE, an assistant professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Penn and chair of the Ethics Committee for the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS), approached and enrolled participants who relied on dialysis treatments to stand in for their damaged kidneys. Participants were between 40 and 65 years of age and had been waiting for a transplant for at least a year and a half. A three-step process of education and consent was used during pre-enrollment to ensure patients, and their loved ones were provided with a comprehensive understanding of the risks. Once enrolled, and as organs became available, the team performed HCV donor genotyping during the allocation process, selecting only kidneys that were considered “high quality.”

In the first phase of the study, to date, 10 patients have received transplants using the protocol. On average, patients received a transplant 58 days after enrolling in the trial — some in as quickly as 11 days, while others waited for over 100 days. At three days after surgery, patients were tested for HCV, and all 10 tested positive for the disease. Next, the participants were treated with the standard 12-week course of elbasvir/grazoprevir, commonly known as Zepatier, a recently-approved and highly effective oral medication prescribed to eradicate HCV. All 10 patients have been cured of their contracted HCV.

“For so long, HCV was a virus with a very negative stigma associated with it, especially among physicians. So it was interesting to see that patients were quick to jump at the chance to get this transplant, despite the possibility that they could get Hepatitis C permanently,” Reese said. “Going into the study, we knew it was a possibility that some or all of the patients would contract HCV, and that they could have the disease for the rest of their lives if we were unsuccessful. But for these patients, getting off of dialysis and getting back to their normal lives was very much worth the risk.”

Following the early positive results, the research team was granted an extension of their study, which will allow them to transplant and treat an additional 10 patients — 20 patients in total.

The research team is designing a new clinical trial that will study this same approach in patients who are heart transplant recipients, and in the future they hope to examine the efficacy of this approach in liver and lung transplants. Researchers note there is a need for longer and larger trials to continue evaluating the effectiveness of HCV-positive to HCV-negative transplantation followed by antiviral therapy in a broader population.

Medeor gets FDA OK to trial therapy that aims to do away with transplant drugs – FierceBiotech

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Patients who undergo organ transplants may no longer have to rely on lifelong immune-suppressing drugs, if Medeor Therapeutics has its way.

The California biotech says it has just been given the green light from the FDA to start trials of a personalized cell-based immunotherapy called MDR-101 that is designed to switch off the immune response to donated and transplanted organs.

More than 30,000 Americans get an organ transplant every year, and while success rates for these procedures are improving, it is estimated that up to a third of the most common transplants—such as heart, kidney, and liver—fail within 5 years.

Immunosuppressive drugs like cyclosporine and tacrolimus can help prevent that happening, but have to be taken for life and can cause side effects, as well as increasing the risk of infection, cancer, diabetes and heart disease. They can even damage the kidneys themselves, which is particularly bad news for kidney transplant recipients.

The FDA has cleared Medeor’s Investigational New Drug (IND) application for MDR-101, and also agreed to a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) that will allow the company to push ahead straight away with a phase 3 trial in living donor kidney transplants, due to start in the second half of this year. The SPA means the biotech can proceed without fear that the agency will take issue with its design, endpoints and statistical analyses later.

MDR-101 grew out of pioneering research conducted at Stanford University in the lab of Dr. Samuel Strober, M.D., which involved injecting blood stem cells and T cells from the donor at the time of transplant to try to convince the immune system of the recipient to accept the donated organ as if it was their own.

The procedure involves harvesting blood stem cells from the donor before the transplant. After the organ is transferred, the recipient is started on anti-rejection drugs and receives radiotherapy to further suppress the immune system. A few weeks later, the donor stem cells are infused into the transplant patient so they grow in the bone marrow and other immune tissues and become part of the recipient’s immune system.

The technique has already been tested in a phase 1 trial involving HLA-matched donor organ transplants—for example, from siblings—but the hope is that eventually it could allow donor organs to be used where there is only a partial match. That could expand the pool of possible donors to include more distant family members, for example.

Last December Dr. Strober, the scientific founder of Medeor and a company board member, was awarded a $6.6 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to help fund the further development of the technology.

Medeor’s chief medical officer, Scott Batty, M.D., said current treatment to prevent rejection of organ transplants “is far from optimal due to unacceptably high long-term failure rates and treatment-associated complications, and new approaches are greatly needed to relieve organ transplant recipients from the litany of undesirable effects associated with anti-rejection drug regimens.”

“MDR-101 has the potential to address the two most critical transplant patient needs: preventing organ rejection and mitigating anti-rejection treatment-associated toxicities,” he continued.

The Organ Project Launches National Campaign to End the Transplant Waitlist – Yahoo Finance

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First set of television and radio spots will launch in Ottawa, then rollout across North America

OTTAWA, April 14, 2017 /CNW/ – The Organ Project, a major philanthropic initiative founded by Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk today announced the launch of a series of television and radio spots aimed at raising awareness about the life-saving importance of organ donation. 

The first set of thought-provoking television and radio spots will launch in the Ottawa region and will begin airing on Saturday, April 15. Thanks to the generosity of Bell Media, the radio spots will air on MAJIC 100, Ottawa’s New Country 94, 580 CFRA and TSN 1200. The television spots will be broadcast on CTV Ottawa’s CJOH and CHRO, Rogers Sportsnet and the Ottawa Senators’ in-arena programming during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

A national and North America-wide rollout is planned as well as efforts to engage with all major North American professional sports teams within the National Hockey League, the National Football League, Major League Baseball, the Canadian Football League and Major League Soccer.

“April is Organ Donation Awareness Month across Canada so I feel there is no better time to launch this significant public awareness campaign focused on highlighting the life-saving importance for all of us to register to be organ donors,” said The Organ Project’s Founder Eugene Melnyk. “This campaign is our first major step towards ending the organ donor waitlist where people of all ages wait desperately for life-saving transplants. This campaign is intended to bring organ donation to the forefront and by doing so encourage as many individuals as possible to have the all-important conversation with family and friends about giving the gift of life by becoming an organ donor.”

Celebrity Morgan Freeman’s universally recognizable voice is featured in several of the television and radio spots which are aimed at taking the public on various thought-provoking journeys to highlight the life-saving importance of being an organ donor and how it can help end the transplant waitlist where 4,600 Canadians currently wait in desperate need of transplants.

The television spots were first previewed on March 31, 2017 when The Organ Project hosted a sold out and highly successful inaugural fundraising gala featuring seven-time Grammy Award winner Carrie Underwood. The highly anticipated gala raised nearly $1.4 million that will be invested into a number of important programs and policy initiatives including today’s launch of The Organ Project’s national public awareness and education campaign. 

Additional television spots will be released as part of the national and North America-wide rollout of this campaign.

About The Organ Project

Launched in February 2017 by Eugene Melnyk the Owner and Chairman of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, The Organ Project is a charitable organization focused on ending the organ donor wait list for transplants. In Canada, more than 4,600 people are in desperate need of a life-saving organ transplant. The Organ Project aims to make traditional organ donor registration simpler, efficient, and more accessible because a single organ donor has the power to save eight lives. By working with federal, provincial and state governments, The Organ Project will also explore policy changes to make real and practical system improvements to organ donation and transplantation across Canada and the United States. For more information on The Organ Project please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

SRTR hosting information webinar for all transplant patients and families

Here’s a chance for transplant families to give their feedback.  Join SRTR webinar about the tiered outcome assessments and their new website. Register today:
The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) plans to host an informational webinar  for all patients and families.  This includes our living donors too.  The webinar is about the new SRTR website and tiered outcome assessment systems. SRTR’s goals are to describe the motivation behind the changes, compare and contrast the 3-tier and 5-tier outcome assessment methodologies, and address common questions about the two systems. Information will be provided as to how interested parties may submit feedback regarding the website and outcome assessment systems. Space is limited, pre-register for the event today.

Mom of teen who died suddenly after football injury meets with transplant recipients – WJBD Online

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Mom of teen who died suddenly after football injury meets with transplant recipients

ABC News(NEW YORK) — It was an emotional day recently for Cassondra Singleton, who met with some of the recipients of organs from her teen son who died last year after a football injury.

In November 2016, Aaron Singleton, 15, a straight-A student at Joshua High School in Texas, suffered seizures after taking a hit during a game. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors reportedly discovered he had a blood clot and swelling in his brain.

The next day, he was taken off life support after doctors determined he was still unresponsive. Aaron Singleton’s organs were donated.

On Tuesday, Cassondra Singleton of Burleson, Texas, was joined by her family and fiancé, Robert Gray, as she met with Brenda Florez, 61, of Carlsbad, New Mexico; Dustin Earley, 32, of Denison, Texas; and Mike Norton, 62, of Houston, Texas, and their close relatives at Baylor Scott and White All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

Florez received a kidney and liver; Earley, a kidney and pancreas; and Norton, a heart.

“It’s a sad experience but it’s also a happy experience. It’s something that from the very beginning I always wanted to take place,” Florez said. “I always wanted to meet the family. When they contacted me and said that they were ready to meet the recipient families, I said, ‘Yes.'”

On Tuesday, Singleton said that Aaron would be happy to see how he’d given life to so many others.

“It’s really emotional. It’s happy because [Brenda] gets to carry on, you know, with her life and with her kids and husband and family and friends and everything,” Singleton said.

She went on, “You know, it’s a little sad. It’s very sad. Because I don’t have my son but her and others, Brenda and others get to live life to the fullest and that means a lot to me and my family.”

Norton brought a stethoscope so that Singleton and her family could listen to the new heart beating inside his chest.

Born with a heart defect in which the heart loses elasticity, Norton said he’d ended up on the transplant list after he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

“Everything I do for the rest of my life, Aaron is taking me there,” said Norton, a landscape photographer. “I feel him every day.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Parents of boy who once received transplant donate his organs – The Star Online

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Deng Jun kisses her son in hospital. Photo: Handout

Deng Jun kisses her son in hospital. Photo: Handout

HONG KONG: The parents of a 15-year-old boy, who once received a cornea transplant, donated his organs after he died on Saturday, the Chengdu Commercial Daily reported.

Deng Jun, the mother of Zhang Junyan, who died from encephalitis, decided to donate his liver and kidneys to save three other critically ill patients at Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital in southwest China.

“He was very young, and until now has not been able to contribute to society. Donating his organs is his chance. I want to make his passing away more meaningful,” Deng said.

An accident three years ago gradually claimed Zhang’s sight in his left eye, but a cornea transplant in March last year restored his vision.

“Zhang cherished his restored eye very much, and carried eye drops wherever he went,” Deng said.

But, on March 14, Zhang came down with a headache and fever and was treated at a nearby clinic, which gave him some medication and sent him home.

Without prompt and accurate treatment, Zhang’s symptoms quickly deteriorated. When he was unable to speak properly two days later, Deng sent him to a hospital in Nanchong, where he was diagnosed with suspected meningitis and was transferred to the more advanced Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital.

Four days later, Zhang lapsed into a coma and it was confirmed that he had viral encephalitis.

On March 28, doctors informed Zhang’s parents that their son could not be saved.
Zhang’s organs were recovered and he was buried in Chengdu on April 1. – South China Morning Post

Senate Panel Advances Bill On Transplant Discrimination – CBS Philly

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A state Senate panel has advanced legislation intended to stop organ transplant agencies from discriminating against people with disabilities.

The bill, sponsored by Philadelphia Democrat John Sabatina, cleared its first hurdle by passing out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It would prohibit organ transplant discrimination against patients on the basis of physical, mental or developmental disability.

“Senate Bill 108 has been named “Paul’s Law” on behalf of Paul Corby, a young man from Pottsville who needs a heart transplant, but is experiencing this very type of discrimination,” Sabatina said. “He was denied a life preserving heart transplant during the summer of 2011 because he has autism and psychiatric issues.”

Sabatina says that kind of discrimination is “inhumane and unacceptable.” He says right now, people with those types of disabilities can’t even get on the waiting list for transplant. He says his bill does not guarantee them an organ but simply allows people with special needs to get on the list.

These 7 hospitals have the best pediatric organ transplant outcomes – Becker’s Hospital Review

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Nearly 2,000 children ranging from newborns to 17-year-olds received organ transplants in 2015, and nearly 2,000 children are still on the waitlist, according to HHS’ information on organ donation and transplantation.

Most children under 18 who need an organ transplant are waiting for a liver, heart or kidney.

The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients uses data collected from other organizations to assess outcomes of centers that perform pediatric liver and heart transplants. SRTR has two rating systems for its outcomes assessment score:

  • A three-tier rating system assigns hospitals a “better than expected,” “as expected” or “worse than expected” score based on risk-adjusted assessment of first-year success (being alive with a functioning transplant one year after surgery).
  • A five-tier outcome assessment system, which is in beta mode, that assigns hospitals a score of one (the worst) to five (the best) based on how many patients stay alive with a functioning transplant one year after surgery.

In the three-tier system, just one hospital earned a “better than expected” for pediatric liver transplants: Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at UPMC. No hospital earned a “better than expected” for pediatric heart transplants.

In the five-tier system, seven hospitals earned a five score for pediatric liver or heart transplants. Those hospitals are listed below, in the order from SRTR.


Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at UPMC

Jackson Memorial Hospital University of Miami School of Medicine

Boston Children’s Hospital

Children’s Medical Center of Dallas


UF Health Shands Hospital (Gainesville, Fla.)

NY Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center (New York City)

Children’s Hospital Colorado (Aurora)

More articles on hospital ratings and rankings:
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