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WTC OnDemand now available – Free to AST members
WTC OnDemand, your online portal to over 350 videos of the 2014 Congress sessions, is available free to AST members. Non-members can purchase a 2 year subscription. WTC OnDemand synchronizes audio and video of the speaker’s slides and presentation, and includes PDF speaker handouts.
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COP contribution contest
The board will award a prize to the COP with the highest percentage of contributing members from now through the end of the year: $2,000 towards a COP initiative in 2015 (must be approved by the AST Board of Directors). Currently the Transplant Pharmacy COP is in the lead, with the Transplant Administrators COP close behind!

To improve our external fundraising efforts, we must first improve our internal philanthropy. We encourage all AST members to donate to the AST before the end of 2014. The amount is not crucial, but achieving a high participation rate is of paramount importance.

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Watch webinars online anytime
AST has a variety of recorded webinars available for viewing online 24/7. The most recent archived webinars include WTC 2014 highlights, Kidney Allocation System changes, and vaccine updates. All are available at

Visit to choose from more than 30 webinars on topics ranging from Hepatitis C management to living donor advocacy to infectious disease guidelines.

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You care about your transplant patients. And so do we. That’s why we’re introducing Astellas Cares—a new program that offers you customized tools, educational resources, and comprehensive support to help your patients care for their health. To register, visit today.


Buy one, get one half off plus discounted early registration for a limited time only
The Cutting Edge of Transplantation
Immunity and Inflammation: Engineering Cell, Gene, and Drug Therapies

Feb. 5-7, 2015
Sheraton Wild Horse Pass – Chandler, Arizona

CEOT 2015 is fast approaching, and for a limited time you can save on registration and housing with special discounted promotions. Attend CEOT with a colleague and take advantage of "Buy One, Get One Half Off" registration, from Dec. 1 thru Jan. 25.

Going solo? Early registration discounted rates are in effect from now until Jan. 23. Also, book your hotel stay at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass by Jan. 12 to guarantee the discounted rate of $211 per night. Join nearly 300 of your colleagues at this high-energy, interactive meeting to explore how we, as a community involved in transplantation, will move the field forward.

This year’s CEOT will explore some of the following critical challenges:
  • How can you participate in the future of new drug development?
  • How do we pioneer the repositioning of existing and new drugs?
  • How can the AST champion the necessary change that affords your patients better outcomes?
Register for CEOT at a discount.

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The new OPTN kidney allocation policy: Potential for inequitable access among highly sensitized patients
American Journal of Transplantation
In 2013, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network approved a new national kidney allocation scheme (KAS) for deceased donor (DD) transplantation. Among the many attributes of the new policy was the decision to proactively address organ allocation to highly sensitized patients, long recognized to be the most disadvantaged group on the waiting list. Beginning on Dec. 4, 2014, the new KAS will be implemented and candidates with calculated panel reactive antibody (cPRA) values of 98 percent, 99 percent and 100 percent will have the highest priority for local, regional and national sharing, respectively.
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To find out how to feature your company in the AST eNewsletter and other advertising opportunities, Contact Tom Crist at 972-402-7724.

Fatal Scopulariopsis infection in a lung transplant recipient: Lessons of organ procurement
American Journal of Transplantation
Seventeen days after double lung transplantation, a 56-year-old patient with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis developed respiratory distress. Imaging revealed bilateral pulmonary infiltrates with pleural effusions and physical examination demonstrated sternal instability. Broad-spectrum antibacterial and antifungal therapy was initiated and bilateral thoracotomy tubes were placed. Both right and left pleural cultures grew a mold subsequently identified as Scopulariopsis brumptii.
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Outcomes of combined liver–kidney transplantation in children: Analysis of the scientific registry of transplant recipients
American Journal of Transplantation
Combined liver–kidney transplantation (CLKT) in children is uncommon and outcomes have not been well defined. Using the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, data were analyzed on 152 primary pediatric CLKTs performed from October 1987 to February 2011, to determine their outcome in the largest series reported to date. Patient survival was 86.8 percent, 82.1 percent and 78.9 percent at 1, 5 and 10 years, liver graft survival was 81.9 percent, 76.5 percent and 72.6 percent, and kidney graft survival was 83.4 percent, 76.5 percent and 66.8 percent.
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  UCLA Immunogenetics Center

The UCLA Immunogenetics Center (UIC) provides comprehensive testing for organ and tissue transplantation. Transplant testing has a long history at UCLA. HLA typing was pioneered here in the 1960's. The development of the microcytoxicity test in 1964 marked the beginning of international testing and standardization of HLA typing. The UCLA Immunogenetics Center has retained its leadership position in HLA research, and in the development of accompanying diagnostic testing. MORE

Observations on the use of cidofovir for BK virus infection in renal transplantation
Transplant Infectious Disease
In renal transplantation, BK virus infection can result in significant graft nephropathy and loss. While reduction in immunosuppression (IS) is considered standard therapy, adjunct agents may be warranted. Data are suggestive of a possible role of cidofovir for the management of BK. This study aims to describe the course of BK viremia (BKV) in a large cohort of renal transplant patients receiving adjunct cidofovir.
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Pretransplant lymphopenia is a novel prognostic factor in cytomegalovirus and noncytomegalovirus invasive infections after liver transplantation
Liver Transplantation
Infection after liver transplantation (LT) remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. The risk of infection after LT is highest in those who are most immunosuppressed, but to date, no standard blood marker of one's degree of immunosuppression or risk index has been established. The purpose of this study was to determine whether pretransplant lymphopenia (absolute lymphocyte count < 500 cells/mm3 within 24 hours before LT) is a candidate marker of immunosuppression and could be useful in predicting the risk of cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease and non-CMV invasive infections after LT.
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Consequences of aortic insufficiency during long-term axial continuous-flow left ventricular assist device support
The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Although left ventricular assist device (LVAD) management strategies are undertaken to reduce the development of aortic insufficiency (AI), the effect of AI on patient morbidity and mortality is not known. Patients undergoing HeartMate II (Thoratec, Pleasanton, CA) implant were prospectively monitored with serial echocardiograms.
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Cigarette smoking following lung transplantation: Effects on allograft function and recipient functional performance
Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation & Prevention via PubMed
Despite mandatory tobacco abstinence following lung transplantation (LTX), some recipients resume smoking cigarettes. The effect of smoking on allograft function, exercise performance, and symptomatology is unknown. A retrospective review was conducted of LTX recipients who received allografts over an 8-year interval and who were subjected to sequential posttransplant pulmonary function testing (PFT), 6-minute walk (6MW) testing, and assessments of exertional dyspnea (Borg score). Using post-LTX PFT results, recipients were determined to have either bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), a manifestation of chronic allograft rejection, or normal pulmonary function (non-BOS).
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A 3-gene assay for monitoring immune quiescence in kidney transplantation
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Organ transplant recipients face life-long immunosuppression and consequently are at high risk of comorbidities. Occasionally, kidney transplant recipients develop a state of targeted immune quiescence (operational tolerance) against an HLA-mismatched graft, allowing them to withdraw all immunosuppression and retain stable graft function while resuming immune responses to third-party antigens. Methods to better understand and monitor this state of alloimmune quiescence by transcriptional profiling may reveal a gene signature that identifies patients for whom immunosuppression could be titrated to reduce patient and graft morbidities.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Pancreas transplantation with enteroanastomosis to native duodenum poses technical challenges—but offers improved endoscopic access for scheduled biopsies and therapeutic interventions (American Journal of Transplantation)
Survival benefit of repeat liver transplantation in the United States: A serial MELD analysis by hepatitis C status and donor risk index (American Journal of Transplantation)
De novo donor HLA-specific antibodies predict development of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome after lung transplantation (The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation)
Quality of life and metrics of achievement in long-term adult survivors of pediatric heart transplant (Pediatric Transplantation)

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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Julie Bernhard, Executive Editor, 469.420.2647  
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