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AST board member provides expert testimony to House Energy & Commerce Committee in support of key immunosuppressive drug coverage legislation
AST
The AST is pleased to announce that AST Board Member Dr. Larry Melton has offered key testimony before Congress in support of H.R. 1428, the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act. Dr. Melton, Medical Director of Kidney/Pancreas Transplantation at Baylor Medical Center, was asked by physician congressman Michael Burgess to testify before the House Energy & Commerce Committee as part of a hearing entitled, "Examining Reforms to Improve the Medicare Part B Drug Program for Seniors." Both Rep. Burgess and Dr. Melton provided insight to the committee that one of the biggest challenges facing the transplant patient community as part of Medicare Part B Drug Program is the arbitrary 36-month limit for immunosuppressive medications. Burgess and Melton urged the committee to support and pass coverage expansion legislation this year.
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SOCIETY NEWS


Register now for the AST Fellows Symposium on Transplantation Medicine!
The AST Fellows Symposium will be held Sept. 20-22 in Grapevine, Texas. The AST Fellows Symposium offers an in-depth and interactive study of both clinical transplantation and basic transplant immunobiology, while offering unparalleled access to expert faculty.

Registration and travel grant requests must be received by Wednesday, July 31. View the full registration and travel grant eligibility requirements and register here. This activity has been approved for 15.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.

For information about the accreditation of this program, contact Global at 303-395-1782 or at a inquire@globaleducationgroup.com.

This activity is jointly sponsored by Global Education Group and American Society of Transplantation.

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AST-supported HIV organ transplant legislation passed Senate — We need your support!
The Senate recently passed the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act by a unanimous vote. As you know, the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and Washington, D.C., office have advocated strongly for this bill on Capitol Hill. The society was most instrumental in securing key majority support for the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives and has been working collectively with all stakeholders to build bipartisan and bicameral support for the bill. AST is also hosting a meeting of all the HOPE Act stakeholders next week in our DC offices to discuss and coordinate strategy to secure final passage for the legislation in the House.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  University of Utah - Multi-Organ Transplant Surgeon
The University Of Utah Department Of Surgery is seeking applications for a faculty member to join the multi-organ transplant team at the assistant professor level. This is an opportunity to join an expanding program and a cohesive group of transplant surgeons focused on excellence. The candidate should be board certified in general surgery and have completed an ASTS approved transplantation surgery fellowship. Apply here
 


TRANSPLANT NEWS


Trial: Calcineurin inhibitor-free mycophenolate mofetil/sirolimus maintenance in liver transplantation
Liver Transplantation (login required)
Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and sirolimus (SRL) have been used for calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) minimization to reduce nephrotoxicity following liver transplantation. In this prospective, open-label, multicenter study, patients undergoing transplantation from July 2005 to June 2007 who were maintained on MMF/CNI were randomized 4 to 12 weeks after transplantation to receive MMF/SRL (n = 148) or continue MMF/CNI (n = 145) and included in the intent-to-treat population.
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The Future of Transplants hits newsstands today
Mediaplanet
USA Today markets of New York, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Houston, Dallas and the surrounding areas feature a supplement titled "The Future of Transplants." This breakthrough piece includes patient testimonials, commentary by medical experts and a look at the cutting-edge treatments of the future. Get your copy in USA Today, visit the digital site or download the supplement here.
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Phase I adjuvant trial of sorafenib in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma after orthotopic liver transplantation
NCBI (login required)
Posttransplant hepatocellular carcinoma recurrence has been reported to be between 15-18 percent and is higher among patients with high-risk features (bilobar tumor, macrovascular invasion, or multifocality). There are no known treatments which reduce risk of recurrence posttransplant. Sorafenib is currently approved for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. The objective of this phase I trial was to establish the safety and toxicity profile of sorafenib in high-risk patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who have undergone orthotopic liver transplantation.
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HCV triple therapy post-liver transplant yields moderate response, significant adverse events
Healio
Liver transplant recipients with hepatitis C experienced moderate early response rates but frequent side effects from triple therapy with antivirals in a recent study. Researchers evaluated 60 liver transplant recipients with recurrent HCV genotype 1 and significant fibrosis who underwent treatment with pegylated interferon alfa-2a and ribavirin (PEG/RBV) and either telaprevir (TVR) (n=35) or boceprevir (BOC) (n=25), with a minimum follow-up of 12 weeks (mean follow-up, 35 weeks). Most patients were successfully placed on immunosuppressive therapy with cyclosporine before treatment initiation, including 33 TVR patients and 23 BOC patients.
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Multiorgan procurement increases systemic inflammation in brain dead donors
Clinical Transplantation (login required)
Organs available for solid organ transplantation are mainly procured from brain dead donors. The inflammation associated with brain death may reduce organ quality and increase organ immunogenicity, thus leading to inferior recipient outcome. It has been hypothesized that the extensive surgical procedure performed during multiorgan procurement enhances the levels of systemic inflammatory biomarkers.
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Pulmonary hypertension in patients with chronic and end-stage kidney disease
NCBI (login required)
Pulmonary hypertension is defined as a mean pulmonary artery pressure 25 mm Hg and is a recently recognized complication of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease. There is significant epidemiological overlap with kidney disease and the underlying causes of World Health Organization group 1-4 pulmonary hypertension (pulmonary arteriopathy, left heart disease, chronic pulmonary disease and chronic thromboembolic disease, respectively). In addition, an entity of 'unexplained pulmonary hypertension,' group 5, in patients with chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease has emerged, with prevalence estimates of 30-50 percent. This review summarizes what is known about the epidemiology, pathogenesis, transplantation outcomes, mortality and treatment of pulmonary hypertension in patients with chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease.
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Hyperacute rejection in the xenogenic transplanted rat liver is triggered by the complement system only in the presence of leukocytes and free radical species
Xenotransplantation (login required)
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide species (NOS) are pivotal after ischemia–reperfusion. However, the role of different cells on the formation of free radical species after xenotransplantation remains elusive. It has been hypothesized that ROS and NOS formed during hyperacute rejection are dependent on leukocytes, erythrocytes, activated thrombocytes and Kupffer cells (KCs). To address this issue, researchers developed a model of xenoperfused rat liver and assessed the relationship between free radical production and graft dysfunction.
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Pediatric cardiac transplantation using hearts previously refused for quality
American Journal of Transplantation (login required)
Pediatric donor hearts are regularly refused for donor quality with limited evidence as to which donor parameters are predictive of poor outcomes. A recent study compared outcomes of recipients receiving hearts previously refused by other institutions for quality with the outcomes of recipients of primarily offered hearts. Data for recipients less than 18 years old and their donors were obtained. Specific UNOS refusal codes were used to place recipients into refusal and nonrefusal groups; demographics, morbidity and mortality were compared.
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Cyclosporine versus everolimus: Effects on the glomerulus
Clinical Transplantation (login required)
Inhibitors of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) have been associated with proteinuria. In a recent study, researchers studied the development of proteinuria in renal transplant recipients (RTR) treated with the mTOR inhibitor everolimus in comparison with a calcineurin inhibitor. They related the presence of proteinuria to histopathological glomerular findings in two-year protocol biopsies.
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Multicenter experience using telaprevir or boceprevir with peginterferon and ribavirin to treat hepatitis C genotype 1 after liver transplantation
Liver Transplantation (login required)
The safety, efficacy and effect on immunosuppression levels of telaprevir (TVR) or boceprevir (BOC) in combination with peginterferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) in recipients of liver transplantation (LT) with hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 have not been defined.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Living donor versus deceased donor liver transplantation: A surgeon-matched comparison of recipient morbidity and outcomes (NCBI)
Organ scarcity's the real transplant dilemma (The News Tribune)
Human hepatic stellate cells inhibit T-Cell response through B7-H1 pathway (NCBI)
Pretransplant and posttransplant treatment of hepatitis C virus infection with protease inhibitors (Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


Immunogenicity of pandemic influenza A H1N1/2009 adjuvanted vaccine in pediatric solid organ transplant recipients
Pediatric Transplantation (login required)
The aim of this study was to assess the immunogenicity of a vaccine against this virus in a prospective cohort of transplanted pediatric patients without previous influenza infection who received one dose of MF59®-adjuvanted pandemic H1N1/2009 vaccine. Seventeen patients who were being regularly followed up at the Outpatient Clinic of the Children's Transplant Unit (liver and kidney transplantation) in Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron (Barcelona) were included. Seroconversion was demonstrated in 15 of 17 (88.2 percent) vaccinated children. There were no rejection episodes or major adverse events. The MF59®-adjuvanted pandemic H1N1/2009 vaccine was safe and elicited an adequate response.
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