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Unemployment restricts access to kidney transplants
People in end-stage kidney failure in need of a kidney transplant are much less likely to be placed on a waiting list for a new kidney or to actually receive a new kidney once on the list if they are unemployed or work part time, according to new collaborative research from the University of New Hampshire.
Summer Issue of Chimera Available
The latest issue of ASTS' member magazine, Chimera, is now available on ASTS.org. It features details of the five-year strategic plan for ASTS' Fellowship Training Programs, as well as a recap of this year's American Transplant Congress and news from the spring Council and Committee Chairs meeting.
ASTS Announces Research Grant Dates
Applications for the ASTS Research Grants will open on Dec. 3, 2013, and close on Feb. 4, 2014.
ASTS Launches Updates for Medical Professionals Webpage
To help keep you better informed, ASTS has launched a new webpage for news about recalls, drug approvals, and more. It joins the REMS page as part of the Knowledge Base (under "Resources"). Check it out and make sure you have the latest news you need!
It is more than just size: Obesity and transplantation
Liver Transplantation (login required)
The obesity pandemic is an inescapable problem in healthcare. A recent survey found nearly 80 million Americans, or 36 percent of the population older than 20 years, to be obese. Those caring for persons with end-stage liver disease have seen a 5.4 percent increase in the number of living transplant candidates with a body mass index greater than 30 kg/m2 in the United States.
Test performance characteristics of quantitative nucleic acid testing for polyomaviruses in kidney and kidney-pancreas transplant recipients
Clinical Transplantation (login required)
Screening for polyoma BK virus (BK) using nucleic testing (NAT) is recommended for kidney and kidney-pancreas transplant recipients, but the performance characteristics of quantitative BK NAT at different thresholds of plasma BK viral loads are unclear. We aim to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of quantitative BK NAT as an add-on test to qualitative polyoma NAT for the diagnosis of BK virus-associated nephropathy (BKVAN) in kidney and kidney transplant recipients.
Repopulation of the immunosuppressed retrorsine-treated infant rat liver with human hepatocytes
Xenotransplantation (login required)
Humanized chimeric mice have been generated by transplanting h-hepatocytes into the livers of the diseased-liver transgenic mouse model with immunodeficient background. These mice with livers mostly replaced by human (h) hepatocytes have been proved to be useful for research on drug metabolism and toxicity and on intrahepatic pathogens such as hepatitis. However, their small body size prohibited collecting sufficient biological samples and made surgical manipulation difficult, which motivated us to produce humanized larger animal(s) bearing h-hepatocytes.
OPTN to implement new process for patient status verification
UNOS Data Quality has introduced a new process for verifying with transplant programs the current status (living or dead) of certain candidates waitlisted and recipients transplanted and/or followed post-transplant at the transplant program. This process involves use of data from other sources to supplement patient status information known to the transplant program. Information in some of these sources must be confirmed before being incorporated in the OPTN database.
UNOS will contact the designated Primary Program Administrator and Primary Data Coordinator at the applicable transplant programs by secure email and will provide relevant information for each patient, as well as instructions for making the updates.
The time to address the gorillas in the room is overdue
Liver Transplantation (login required)
The two gorillas in the room are: 1)liver allocation in the United States is not equal by any significant metric (wait-time, model for end-stage liver disease score at transplantation, regional review board behavior), and 2) liver allograft utilization, as referenced by an increasing gap between consented liver deceased-donors and transplanted deceased-donor allografts or a decreasing donor risk index at transplantation, is declining.
Current role of human leukocyte antigen matching in kidney transplantation
With graft survival rates steadily improving during the recent years, there is debate whether donor kidneys should still be allocated according to compatibility for human leukocyte antigens (HLA). Recent studies argue for continued kidney exchange efforts for achieving better HLA compatibility. In this modern era of immunosuppression, better HLA matching is associated not only with better graft survival, but also with the administration of lower dosages of immunosuppressive agents, a lower incidence of side-effects of immunosuppression such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, hip fractures and death from infection, and a lower grade of sensitization if a patient has lost a kidney graft and is relisted for a retransplant.
Astellas receives FDA approval for a new product
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the New Drug Application (NDA) for ASTAGRAF XL (tacrolimus extended-release capsules) for the prophylaxis of organ rejection in patients receiving a kidney transplant with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and corticosteroids, with or without basiliximab induction.
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