Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources
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Mechanism helps explain persistence of hepatitis C virus but new treatments on the horizon

Mechanism helps explain persistence of hepatitis C virus but new treatments on the horizon | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

The first part of this post is the news that researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a mechanism that explains why people with the hepatitis C virus get liver disease. Plus this may be why the virus is able to evade the normal mechanisms in the body that eradicate similar viral pathogens. For more on this story click

on the banner headline.

 

The second part is news on some of the new antiviral combinations which appear promising for the treatment of hepatitis C. For more on this click on either of the following links-

 

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/275472.php#.U057niNk8H8.twitter

 

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/275468.php

 

 

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

With hepatitis C being the most common indication for liver transplantation in many countries, any progress in either the understanding of how the virus causes liver disease or in treating this virus is extremely important

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Lancet Commission: Stem cells and regenerative medicine

Lancet Commission: Stem cells and regenerative medicine | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it
A consensus document has just been published in The Lancet outlining exactly what is the status the current research endeavours into regenerative medicine.

This includes the use of stem cells for the purposes of either bioprinting and/or biofabricating tissues and organs.

This article dissects out the reality from the hype. In addition it summarises what are the current barriers to achieving more in the way of outcomes which may be of direct relevance to patient's. In addition there are challenges which will need to be faced at the level's of both organizations and regulatory agencies as this type of research progresses.
Deborah Verran's insight:
This is a must read for anyone interested in this type of research and what are the possible implications
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Malaysia : Dr Salleh Kerauk views very seriously the leak of organ donors' data

Malaysia : Dr Salleh Kerauk views very seriously the leak of organ donors' data | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

KUALA LUMPUR: Communications and Multimedia Minister Dr Salleh Said Keruak this week said that he viewed seriously the report on the leak of personal data of organ donors in the country.


He said the Department of Personal Data Protection (JPDP) under his ministry was in the midst of investigating the matter with the police. The data breach is believed to involve the information being held on approximately 220,000 individuals who had registered on the organ donor registry.


For more on this story check on the banner headline of this article and/or read the following post which was how the story initially broke online-


https://www.lowyat.net/2018/153125/personal-details-220000-malaysian-organ-donors-next-kin-leaked-online/


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Police arrest Israeli organ smuggling 'mastermind'

Police arrest Israeli organ smuggling 'mastermind' | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

The Israeli ringleader of a global gang of organ traffickers has been arrested in Cyprus, Kosovan police said this last month. Moshe Harel is a suspect in a number of kidney transplants performed back in time in Kosovo, mainly on Israeli citizens who paid to receive a kidney from a non related live donor.


Of note Harel had been on the run for a decade. One of the surgeons who was involved remains on the run.

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The dilemmas of organ donation in Muslim countries

The dilemmas of organ donation in Muslim countries | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

In this interview: Professor Aziz El-Matri, a Tunisian kidney specialist and member of The Transplantation Society discusses the barriers to organ donation in Muslim countries.


Despite many of these countries having established some type of system for organ donation, a mixture of religious beliefs and reticence within the greater community at large combine to act as barriers to organ donation.. This then sets the scene for organ trafficking to become a possibility whether the patients seek to then travel to other countries or whether they opt to pursue this course of action closer to home.


For anyone interested in why there may be differences between the rates of organ donation between countries including in the Middle -East, this is an important article. Click on the banner headline for more information.

Deborah Verran's insight:
Important article which highlights the gap between what should be in place and what actually happens when it comes to organ donation in predominantly Muslim countries
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NZ has made gains in organ donation, but there is still work to do

NZ has made gains in organ donation, but there is still work to do | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

The rates of organ donation in New Zealand are improving but could still be a lot higher as outlined by Dr James Judson (pictured above) who is the current medical Specialist for Organ Donation New Zealand.


However when the rates of organ donation in New Zealand (just over 13 per million), are compared to the current rates of organ donation in Australia (which are a lot higher at 20 per million),  a number of differences are evident. This includes for the rates of donation after circulatory death which are alot higher in Australia.


There are a number of reasons for these differences the most important being the investment made by the Australian Federal government in a national reform agenda for organ and tissue donation. In an interview held with Dr Helen Opdam the current National Medical Director for the Australian Organ & Tissue Authority (OTA), the differences between Australia and New Zealand for organ donation are explored more fully, including with respect to resources and leadership.

Deborah Verran's insight:
This is a must read for anyone interested in organ donation and what may be the underlying reasons for the differences that are seen in the numbers of donors between various countries.
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Consultation Process for Opt Out Organ donation in England has just commenced

Consultation Process for Opt Out Organ donation in England has just commenced | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it
The 3 month consultation period on whether there should be a move to an opt out system of organ donation has just commenced in England

The government is seeking the opinions of interested individuals and organisations on this matter. The online portal is hosted by the Department of Health.

To see what the consultation process looks like, click on the banner headline or the following link-


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'Head Transplant' Research in China Raises Serious Concerns

'Head Transplant' Research in China Raises Serious Concerns | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

The announcement of the first head transplant performed in China has met with scepticism and raised some major concerns.


But two pressing questions are being overlooked, according to international experts: Where are the bodies for this type of research coming from? And why is this type of research happening only in China, where there have been problems in the past with how organs have been obtained for the purpose of transplantation.


In addition there are now concerns being expressed within China as to whether these type of research procedures should now continue -


http://www.ecns.cn/2017/11-25/282230.shtml


A summary of the media conference held in China in Nov 2017 can be viewed via this link-


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5103213/World-s-head-transplant-corpse-not-completed.html


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Skin regeneration with insights

Skin regeneration with insights | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it


A feat in stem-cell therapy highlights what can be achieved when basic and clinical research combine to advance biological understanding and treatment.

This is the lead in to  this background article on the successful use of genetically modified skin which was developed in Italy to help treat a boy with epidermolysis bullosa in Germany.


This breakthrough comes on the back of years of research into the use of skin cells to grow new skin under laboratory conditions.


A press release from the  European Stem Cell consortium focuses on the efforts of all involved,  including at the University of Modena to develop this particular type of skin -


https://www.eurostemcell.org/breakthrough-use-transgenic-stem-cells-treating-epidermolysis-bullosa

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Statement from the Administrative Council of the WFNS and Representative WFNS Honorary Presidents about Head Transplant | WFNS

Statement from the Administrative Council of the WFNS and Representative WFNS Honorary Presidents about Head Transplant | WFNS | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

The World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS), has come out with an official position statement on head transplantation.


Basically the WFNS is not supportive of this procedure based on the current available knowledge pertaining to spinal cord repair and regeneration following major trauma and/or surgery.


The full statement can be accessed by clicking on the banner headline above

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The Human Cell Atlas: from vision to reality

The Human Cell Atlas: from vision to reality | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

As an ambitious collaborative research project to map all of the cells in the human body gets officially under way, Aviv Regev, Sarah Teichmann and colleagues outline some key challenges.


In this online article published in Nature News the authors outline the reasons why this research is being undertaken, where the project has got to and what will be the future challenges. 

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Illegal kidney transplant hospital owned by KP health dept officials: Police in Pakistan

Illegal kidney transplant hospital owned by KP health dept officials: Police in Pakistan | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

 News out of Pakistan that doctors were caught red handed by police from the Federal Investigative Agency undertaking what may be an illegal kidney transplant in a small 'private hospital in the Nowshera district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province in Pakistan' 


The private hospital is owned by Drug Inspector Mardan Mohammad Tayyab and Dr Saifullah Afridi who are health officials in the province


Some additional video footage of the doctors being caught red handed during surgery has ended up online-


https://youtu.be/OF6lKh_JAaA


In recent years there have also been ongoing concerns about organ trafficking in the Punjab region of Pakistan as outlined in the following online article-

https://scroll.in/article/850288/selling-kidneys-for-money-in-pakistans-punjab-the-organ-trade-business-is-cashing-in-on-debt


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3D bioprint me: a socioethical view of bioprinting human organs and tissues

3D bioprint me: a socioethical view of bioprinting human organs and tissues | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

In this article, the authors review the extant social science and ethical literature on three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting, also now known as biofabrication. 


3D bioprinting has the potential to be a ‘game-changer’, because the printing human organs on demand, may no longer necessitate the need for living or deceased human donation or perhaps even xenotransplantation. Although the technology is not yet at the level required to bioprint an entire organ, 3D bioprinting may have a variety of other mid-term and short-term benefits that also have positive ethical consequences, for example, creating alternatives to animal testing in the laboratory setting, filling a therapeutic need for minors and avoiding species boundary crossing. 


Despite a lack of current socioethical engagement with the consequences of the technology, the authors outline what theyThis see as some of the preliminary practical, ethical and regulatory issues that need tackling. These relate to managing public expectations and the continuing reliance on technoscientific solutions to diseases that affect high-income countries. 


Avoiding prescribing a course of action for the way forward in terms of research agendas, we do briefly outline one possible ethical framework ‘Responsible Research Innovation’ as an oversight model should 3D bioprinting promises are ever realised. 3D bioprinting has a lot to offer in the course of time should it move beyond being a conceptual therapy, but is an area that requires ethical oversight and regulation and debate, in the here and now. The purpose of this article is to begin that discussion.

Deborah Verran's insight:
This is a must read for anyone interested in the governance issues related to 3D bioprinting and/or the biofabrication of human tissues and/or organs. 
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First-ever liver transplant for acute liver failure has been performed in Sri Lanka

First-ever liver transplant for acute liver failure has been performed in Sri Lanka | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

In recent news has come the report of the first-ever liver transplant being performed for acute liver failure in Sri Lanka at the Columbo North Hospital. A team of specialists (pictured above), were responsible for the procedure with the donor liver being sourced from a deceased donor in another hospital. 


The family of the young 25 year old woman who was saved from what was most likely going to be a fatal outcome,  are delighted with the end result. For more on this report click on the banner headline

Deborah Verran's insight:
This is an important development for Sri Lanka
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Dutch senate votes in favour of 'yes unless' organ donor system

Dutch senate votes in favour of 'yes unless' organ donor system | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Dutch senate votes in favour of ‘yes unless’ organ donor system with their being 38 votes for and 36 against.


The plan is for the new system for organ donor registration to be implemented in 2020 following an education campaign. For more information on this development click on the following link-


https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/orgaandonatie-en-weefseldonatie

Deborah Verran's insight:
The Dutch Senate has just voted to change the legislation in The Netherlands to allow an opt out system for organ donation to be introduced.
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Mongolia legalizes organ donation after death

Mongolia legalizes organ donation after death | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it
The Parliament has adopted a revised bill on Donor, legalizing organ donation after death in Mongolia.
Deborah Verran's insight:
Important step  in Mongolia as legislation underpinning organ donation is passed in the parliament
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Organ transplant waiting list to go online with real-time updates - Times of India

Organ transplant waiting list to go online with real-time updates - Times of India | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Patients awaiting organ donations in Karnataka (one region of India), will soon know where they stand on the waiting list, with plans afoot to establish an online central register.


This will also assist with the allocation of organs from deceased donors, in that having all of the eligible patient's on a central waiting list will assist with the relevant matching and allocation processes as well.


This is an important step as outlined in the online article (which can be accessed by clicking on the banner headline).

Deborah Verran's insight:
Important step to formalise the transplant waiting list in one part of India
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La Donación y el Trasplante en Argentina 2017

La Donación y el Trasplante en Argentina 2017 | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it
Confirmation that there has been an increase in both the numbers of organ donors as well as the overall numbers of organ transplants in Argentina in 2017.

Statistics are provided for the numbers of organ donors, organ transplants (including for each solid organ) as well as for tissue donation.

For more information click on the banner headline.
Deborah Verran's insight:
Official statistics for the rates of organ donation along with the numbers of organs transplanted in Argentina during 2017
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Don d'organes : des propositions à venir ? - France Adot

Don d'organes : des propositions à venir ? - France Adot | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it


Le rapport du député Touraine sur la mission flash sur le prélèvement d'organes, un an après l'évolution de la loi sur le don d'organes au 1er janvier 2017

News from France that following the introduction of the new opt out system for organ donation in January 2017, that for the first 11 months of this year the overall refusal rate for organ donation is just over 29%. This is a slight improvement on 2016.


The French Biomedicine agency has a strategic goal of achieving a refusal rate of < 25% by 2021 as part of it's current overall strategy for organ and tissue donation, which is on page 8 of the following online document-


https://www.agence-biomedecine.fr/IMG/pdf/cop_2017_2021_abm_def.pdf


The news article which is the subject of this scoop was posted via France ADOT, where more information on organ donation in that country can also be obtained -


https://www.france-adot.org/

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30-yr-old lives after Delhi doctors perform first-ever kidney transplant in Tanzania

30-yr-old lives after Delhi doctors perform first-ever kidney transplant in Tanzania | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

With the aid of a medical team from Delhi the first ever kidney transplant has been performed on a 30 year old woman in Tanzania at the Muhimbili National Hospital.  After over a year of planning, including the training of healthcare workers from Tanzania in Delhi, the live donor kidney transplant procedure was finally able to go ahead.


In the absence of a local law foe transplantation, the hospital had to adopt the Indian law and processes for conducting the surgery.


For more on the story click on the banner headline.

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World’s first human head transplant successfully performed on a corpse, scientists say

World’s first human head transplant successfully performed on a corpse, scientists say | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

It has just been reported that a head from a deceased individual has been attached to the body of another deceased individual via an 18 hour surgical procedure led by Professor Xiaoping Ren (picture left above), of Harbin University in China.


This story has generated a number of misleading headlines partly due to the fact that it is not actually a proper transplantation surgical procedure where either a viable organ or tissue is transplanted from a donor into an alive recipient. Instead the procedure that has been performed appears to be an experimental technical exercise.


Apparently a full head swap between brain dead organ donors is now being planned as the next step according to Dr Sergio Canavero (pictured right), who is frequently interviewed on this ongoing research. Dr Canavero claims that 'We stand on the brink of a revolution, not only in medicine but in human life'


Not everyone agrees with this sentiment, particularly as the ongoing breakthroughs that are now being seen in pharmacology, gene editing, bioengineering and the use of stem cells may in fact lead to head transplantation never being a viable procedure to treat serious conditions of the spinal cord etc for which it is being proposed.


However the background information on how this procedure was undertaken has now been published online in Surgical Neurology International. This involves operating on the bodies of deceased individuals whose relatives agreed could be used for research purposes  -


http://surgicalneurologyint.com/surgicalint-articles/first-cephalosomatic-anastomosis-in-a-human-model/


Deborah Verran's insight:
The latest on the head transplant saga which no doubt will continue to generate headlines until there is some kind of outcome with this ongoing research
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Swedish review board finds misconduct by Macchiarini, calls for six retractions - Retraction Watch

Swedish review board finds misconduct by Macchiarini, calls for six retractions - Retraction Watch | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

An ethical review board in Sweden is now asking a number of scientific journals to retract six papers that were co-authored by former star surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, after concluding that he and his co-authors committed misconduct.


One of the papers is the seminal 2011 article in The Lancet, which described the first case of a transplant using an artificial trachea seeded with cells.


This follows on from further investigations into the outcomes of the trachea transplant cases where the outcomes were not as good as initially reported.

Deborah Verran's insight:
The post script of what has turned out to be a sorry saga of over optimism and hence inaccurate scientific reporting of the initial results of a new form of tissue transplantation.
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Commentary: Timely to review our opt-out organ donation policy in Singapore

Commentary: Timely to review our opt-out organ donation policy in Singapore | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Despite significant progress since the Human Organ Transplant Act was passed in Singapore, the wait for an actual organ remains long. Yale-NUS College's Jean Liu explores the successes and challenges of an opt-out system in the Singapore context.


It appears that there is a lack of knowledge in the wider community with respect to what is meant by a diagnosis of brain death such that family members are not always willing to accept this diagnosis even if their loved one may not have objected to being an organ donor whilst they were alive.


Hence despite Singapore having an opt out system for organ donation in place, in practice this is not leading to the same rates of organ donation as in other countries. Reasons for this are explored further in this article.


Another version of the article has been published online via Medium -

https://medium.com/@jeanetic/30-years-of-an-opt-out-organ-donation-policy-58745d9fbf19


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Government announces consultation on organ donation opt-out system | Human Tissue Authority

Government announces consultation on organ donation opt-out system | Human Tissue Authority | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

In her closing conference speech on Wednesday 4 October, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, announced the government's intention to launch a public consultation process on increasing the rates of organ donation in England.


The consultation process will propose that the new organ donation registration system will automatically enter everyone on to the donor register, unless they decide to opt out. The consultation process is planned to be launched by the end of 2017.Read more on the Department of Health website here.

Deborah Verran's insight:
The UK government has signalled that it will now establish a consultation process for opt out organ donation in England. Of note Wales already has an opt out system in place and authorities in Scotland signalled earlier this year that they would also be looking into establishing an opt out system.
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In Algeria, taboos and law deter organ donors

In Algeria, taboos and law deter organ donors | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

More than 22,000 people in Algeria suffer from renal conditions and are forced to undergo dialysis, according to the ministry of health.


However a combination of strict laws pertaining to living organ donation and widespread misconceptions about deceased donation in the community, are leading to a low rate of organ donation. This is acting as a significant barrier to the numbers of patients who are able to undergo organ transplantation.


Head of the Batna hospital nephrology department Dr Ahmed Bougroura (pictured above) describes the harsh reality facing dialysis patients in Algeria and why change is required in order to increase the rates of organ donation.


For a short video posted online via the AFP news agency click on the following link-

https://youtu.be/TKhxAa4FZRI




.

Deborah Verran's insight:
An important article on the challenges within Algeria with respect to delivering renal replacement therapy in the setting of low organ donation rates.
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Who deserves a liver? Officials try to make organ transplants fairer

Who deserves a liver? Officials try to make organ transplants fairer | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Ongoing concerns over whether deceased donor livers are being allocated equitably across the United States have led to ongoing efforts to alter the current allocation scheme.


This has involved modelling of several options all of which require that an increased number of donor livers would be diverted to the patient's with the highest MELD scores. However this has to be done in a way that does not compromise the quality of the donor organ by adding too much in the way of additional transport time.


A new plan would alter how precious organs are distributed and could shift hundreds of them across state and regional borders.


For more on where the current deliberations have got to in the United States click on the banner headline to this story.

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