Sunday, February 13, 2011

Misc. kidney exchange

A press release from Georgetown University Hospital reports that half of their kidney transplants now arise from kidney exchange: Transplant Numbers Show New Kidney Exchange Program Increased the Rate of Kidney Transplants at Georgetown Two-Fold Since 2008

I recently returned from talking about kidney exchange in Milan. Eliana La Ferrara of Bocconi U. points out the following news story summarizing the current situation (in Italian): Fazio: sì alla donazione d'organi da parte di «samaritani» . It says that the transplant law in Italy has recently been changed to allow live donations by donors who are not close relatives, and it seems to suggest that the first transplants allowed under the new law should be two-way kidney exchanges. It also notes that the waiting list for kidney transplants in Italy recently had about 9,000 people on it, and that in 2009 there were about 1,700 transplants, of which only a few dozen were from living donors.

An Australian parliamentarian, Catherine King, writes about the first kidney exchange in the Australian Paired Kidney Exchange (AKX) program:

The American Medical News writes about the pilot National Kidney Paired Donation program in the U.S.:
Kidney exchange program makes 1st matches: The United Network for Organ Sharing brings together incompatible donor-recipient pairs through a national pool. Mike Rees and I are both briefly quoted on some of the obstacles that still need to be overcome to make that program a success on a large scale.

Scripps News service carries a story about the pilot National Kidney Paired Donation program, emphasizing the role played by CMU's Tuomas Sandholm: Computer algorithm matches unrelated donors, kidneys

In Canada, they are asking Who should travel in kidney exchange programs: the donor, or the organ?
Marie-Chantal Fortin, Bryn Williams-Jones , Open Medicine, Vol 5, No 1 (2011)

"In 2009 the Canadian Blood services launched the Living Donor Paired Exchange Registry. This program circumvents the obstacle presented by blood-group or immunologic incompatibility between a living potential donor and his or her intended recipient. At the beginning, only 3 provinces joined the program, but as of October 2010 all Canadian provinces are participants. Up to now, participating donors have travelled to recipients’ transplant centres. We might question whether, in a country such as Canada, the donor or the organ should travel. In this article, we review the arguments for donor travel and the arguments for shipping the kidney."

Preliminary, still partial evidence from the U.S.  suggests It's Okay to Ship Live-Donor Kidneys
"Transporting live-donor kidneys, sometimes over great distances, does not appear to have a negative effect on transplantation outcomes, researchers found."
And here's a gated link to the paper in the AJT:
Transporting Live Donor Kidneys for Kidney Paired Donation: Initial National Results, D. L. Segev1,2,*, J. L. Veale3, J. C. Berger1, J. M. Hiller1, R. L. Hanto4, D. B. Leeser5, S. R. Geffner6, S. Shenoy7, W. I. Bry8, S. Katznelson8, M. L. Melcher9, M. A. Rees10, E. N. S. Samara11, A. K. Israni12, M. Cooper13, R. J. Montgomery1, L. Malinzak14, J. Whiting15, D. Baran16, J. I. Tchervenkov16, J. P. Roberts17, J. Rogers18, D. A. Axelrod19, C. E. Simpkins1, R. A. Montgomery1
Article first published online: 10 JAN 2011

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