Author Interviews, Gastrointestinal Disease, Transplantation / 19.05.2022

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Karn Wijarnpreecha, MD, MPH Lead researcher of the study Transplant Hepatology Fellow University of Michigan MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  Response: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) can develop in persons who are not overweight or obese (“lean person with NAFLD”) and approximately 10-20% of NAFLD were lean. NAFLD is a multisystem diseases that associated with cardiovascular diseases, metabolic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia), or chronic kidney disease. Whether lean persons with NAFLD have lower prevalence of cirrhosis, CVD, CKD than non-lean persons with NAFLD remains inconclusive. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Social Issues, Transplantation / 14.12.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rebecca Thorsness, PhD Research Associate Department of Health Services, Policy, and Practice Brown University School of Public Health  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In 2019, the President signed the Advancing American Kidney Health executive order, which included provisions to increase the use of home dialysis and kidney transplant for Americans living with kidney failure. To carry out this vision, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed the ESRD Treatment Choices (ETC) payment model, which uses financial incentives and penalties to incentivize dialysis facilities to pursue home dialysis or kidney transplant for their patients. Transplant and home dialysis are optimal care for people with kidney failure, but there are social and clinical reasons that patients with high social risk (such as those exposed to racism, poverty, or housing instability) may not be candidates for these treatments. This means that facilities which serve a large number of patients with high social risk might be disproportionately penalized by this new payment model. Using data immediately prior to the implementation of the ETC model, we found that dialysis facilities that serve high proportions of patients with high social risk have lower rates of home dialysis and kidney transplantation than facilities that care for lower proportions of such patients. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 27.09.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Joel T. Adler, MD, MPH Department of Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Center for Surgery and Public Health Brigham and Women’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: For patients who require renal replacement therapy for failed kidneys, kidney transplantation increased length of life and improves quality of life.  For many of these patients, their dialysis centers are the source of referral for evaluation for transplantation.  These dialysis centers have a number of publicly-reported quality measures, but they largely focus on the provision of dialysis care and not how often the centers’ patients undergo a kidney transplant.  Because these higher-rated facilities provide better dialysis care, we wanted to know if that benefit also spilled over into higher transplant listing rates. (more…)
Author Interviews, Heart Disease, JACC, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Transplantation, Yale / 17.05.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael Fuery, MD Department of Internal Medicine Yale School of Medicine Katherine Clark, MD MBA Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Department of Internal Medicine Yale School of Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?   Response: Racial and ethnic disparities affect cardiac transplantation outcomes. In cohort analyses of racial and ethnic groups from the previous three decades, Black patients were constantly at a higher risk of mortality after cardiac transplantation. In 2018, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) revised the allocation system to expand access to organs for the most medically urgent patients and reduce disparities and regional differences. We sought to evaluate contemporary trends and impact of the new 2018 allocation system. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 12.03.2021

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jamil R. Azzi MD Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Medical Director, Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Associate Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation Director, Kidney Transplant Fellowship Engineering in Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Renal Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Would you explain what is meant by an exosome?  Response: Kidney transplant recipients are always at risk of developing rejection where the immune system recognizes the transplanted kidney as “foreign body” and attacks it. The risk is up to 20% the first year after transplant and many more develop chronic rejection which ultimately leads to kidney failure. Currently, most clinicians monitor for kidney rejection by measuring serum creatinine and urine protein. However, creatinine is neither sensitive nor specific for rejection. On the other hand, performing kidney biopsies to make accurate diagnosis of rejection is invasive and has many complications. In our study, when clinicians decided on performing biopsies based on the clinical informations they have including changes in serum creatinine, the biopsies did not show rejection in almost 70% of the cases. Furthermore, serum creatinine can remain stable while the patient may be undergoing a rejection (subclinical rejection). In fact, some centers currently perform routine biopsies at different time points for all their patients regardless of creatinine despite the high risks, costs and inconveniences of doing biopsies. Out of this frustration with the current tools, we have been working on novel technologies to diagnose rejection through the urine. The idea started from the bench as we were studying exosomes, those are tiny vesicles (less than 100 nm in size) released by all cells. We were interested on how immune cells communicate via those vesicles so we developed assays to identify them. We then showed that if immune cells are invading the kidney during rejection, vesicles derived from those immune cells are found in the urine. This gave us the idea of developing a urine test based on these findings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 09.10.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jim Gleason, National President of Transplant Recipients International Organization (TRIO), discusses what organ transplant patients are experiencing during the pandemic, and some tips they ought to consider to help ease some of the burden. Mr. Gleason also discusses his role in the development of the recently released AlloCare app is in the AppStore -- https://apps.apple.com/us/app/allocare-transplant-health/id1497962881?ign-mpt=uo%3D2 – to help post-transplant recipients navigate their day-to-day health. MedicalResearch.com: Would you describe your journey with organ transplantation? Mr. Gleason: I was diagnosed with heart failure at the age of 49, 2 years later listed with Penn Medicine in Philadelphia in September of 1994, and received my donor heart on October 19, 1994. After I received my transplant, I was home from the hospital 7 days later and able to return to work in 3 months as a computer manager with Unisys Corp in Blue Bell, PA, where I worked for the next dozen years before my retirement. Once retired, I dedicated my time to raising awareness of the need for organ donation and the success of transplants ever since. Today, 26 active and fulfilled years with my new heart and gift of life, I am able to live life to its fullest at age 77. I am now also coincidentally married to an organ donor of 15 years, who donated her 13-year-old son’s organs when he was hit by a car on his bike back in 1997.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 20.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Giacomo Pasini, PhD Professor of Econometrics - Professore ordinario Economics PhD program Director - Coordinatore dottorato in Economia Rector's delegate for Cooperation and Development - Delegato alla Cooperzione per lo sviluppo Economics Department - Dipartimento di Economia Universita' Ca' Foscari - Venezia MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Kidney transplantation carries several advantages over dialysis treatment for patients with end-stage renal dis-ease (ESRD). Nevertheless, the disparity between the large number of transplant candidates and the scarcity of organs available continues to increase. In order to close this gap selection criteria for donor appropriateness have been widened significantly in recent years to include older persons and those with co-morbidities that could potentially increase the risk of infectious disease transmission (the so-called Expanded Criteria Donors, ECD). The result of kidney transplantation from marginal donors is one of the most topical issues in the transplant literature. (more…)
Author Interviews, Columbia, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 09.07.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Syed Ali Husain, MD, MPH Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and New York Presbyterian Hospital The Columbia University Renal Epidemiology Group New York, New York  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: One group of patients thought to be at a high risk of severe COVID-19 manifestations is kidney transplant recipients, since they take medications that suppress their immune system and they often have other medical problems that have been associated with severe infection. We wanted to understand whether it is safe to manage kidney transplant recipients who develop COVID-19 as outpatients, without admitting them to the hospital. (more…)
Author Interviews, C. difficile, Gastrointestinal Disease, Imperial College, Infections, Transplantation / 30.04.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Prof. Julian Marchesi PhD Professor of Digestive Health Faculty of Medicine, Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction   Dr. Benjamin Mullish PhD Faculty of Medicine, Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction NIHR Clinical Lecturer Imperial College London       MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Many patients are colonized with bacteria that are resistant to nearly all the antibiotics that we currently have. This antibiotic resistance is a huge public health problem, not least because it may lead to the scenario where a bacterial species moves from the gut and into the bloodstream, causes an infection, and cannot be treated. Such scenarios particularly occur in patients who are particularly prone to getting multiple and frequent courses of antibiotics; this may include patients with particular kidney conditions (who may be vulnerable to recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)), and patients with blood cancers (such as leukaemia, who have weak immune systems and are therefore prone to infections). Furthermore, in both sets of patients, to help treat their disease, they may be offered transplants, either a new kidney or new bone marrow. When this transplant happens, the clinician needs to ‘switch off’ their immune system to allow the transplant to work. When the immune system is dialled down, it can no longer stop any invading bacteria, increasing the chance of antibiotic resistance bacteria causing infections, which frequently leads to patient death.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Hematology, Transplantation / 09.12.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Hrishikesh Srinagesh MD The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is the leading cause of non-relapse mortality (NRM) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Acute GVHD occurs in approximately 50% of HCT patients and targets the skin, liver, and gastrointestinal tract primarily. The change in clinical symptoms (e.g. reduction in volume of diarrhea) is used as the primary endpoint in most trials of acute GVHD treatment, but more accurate metrics are needed to predict long-term survival. Over the past decade, the Mount Sinai Acute GVHD International Consortium (MAGIC) has studied two biomarkers important in GVHD pathogenesis: suppressor of tumorigenesis 2 (ST2) and regenerating islet-derived 3 alpha (REG3). These proteins are shed into the bloodstream when the gastrointestinal tract is damaged during GVHD, the most lethal form of acute GVHD. The concentrations of ST2 and REG3 can be used generate an individual’s estimated probability of 6 month NRM known as the MAGIC Algorithm Probability (MAP). Our study evaluated whether the MAP measured at the start of GVHD treatment and four weeks later could predict long-term survival and we compared the MAP to clinical response after four weeks, the gold standard of response.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Kidney Disease, Rheumatology, Transplantation / 10.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Megan Francis-Sedlak, PhD Director of Medical Affairs Horizon Therapeutics Lake Forest, Illinois MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The prevalence of gout is more than ten-fold greater among patients who have undergone a kidney transplant than the general population as post-transplant medications to prevent organ rejection can contribute to increased uric acid levels. Overall studies have shown this can lead to higher rates of uncontrolled gout among this vulnerable population with organ transplants. While we have seen higher mortality rates for patients who have received a kidney transplant with uncontrolled gout compared to kidney transplant patients without uncontrolled gout, we wanted to evaluate the impact of gout on transplant-related complications to better inform patient care and treatment approaches.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Emory, Health Care Systems, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 11.09.2019

 A retraction and replacement have been issued due to a major coding error that resulted in the reporting of incorrect data in this study surrounding the difference in transplant rates between for-profit and non-profit dialysis centers. Please see link below:

Bauchner H, Flanagin A, Fontanarosa PB. Correcting the Scientific Record—Retraction and Replacement of a Report on Dialysis Ownership and Access to Kidney Transplantation. JAMA. 2020;323(15):1455. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4368

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Rachel Patzer, PhD, MPH Associate Professor Director, Health Services Research Center Department of Medicine Department of Surgery Emory University School of Medicine   MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: We know that historically, for-profit dialysis facilities have been shown to have lower rates of kidney transplantation than patients who receive treatment in non-profit dialysis facilities. However, these studies are outdated, and did not examine access to living donor transplantation or include the entirety of the end-stage kidney disease population  (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 26.08.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Alexandre Loupy, MD PhD Nephrologist, Department of Nephrology & Kidney Transplantation Necker Hospital, Paris Head of the Paris Transplant Group (Inserm)  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The lack of organs for kidney transplantation is a major public health problem across the world, due to its attributable mortality and excess cost to healthcare systems while waitlisted patients are maintained on chronic dialysis. Nearly 5,000 people in the US and 3,500 people in Europe die each year while waiting for a kidney transplant. Yet in the US, over 3,500 donated kidneys are discarded annually, representing almost 18% of the available organs, while the discard rate in France is only 6,8%, though these countries have similar organ allocation systems and offer the same treatments to patients after transplant. We thus compared the use of donated kidneys in the US to France from 2004-2014 in much more depth, using a new approach based on validated analytic methods and computer simulation.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Transplantation / 12.06.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Rodolfo Alejandro, MD Professor of Medicine University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Co-Director of the Cell Transplant Center Director/Attending Physician of the Clinical Cell Transplant Program Diabetes Research Institute www.DiabetesResearch.org  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: In type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing islets cells of the pancreas have been mistakenly destroyed by the immune system, requiring patients to manage their blood sugar levels through a daily regimen of insulin therapy. Islet transplantation has allowed some patients to live without the need for insulin injections after receiving a transplant of donor cells. Some patients who have received islet transplants have been insulin independent for more than a decade, as DRI researchers have published. Currently, islet transplantation remains an experimental procedure limited to a select group of adult patients with type 1 diabetes.Although not all subjects remain insulin independent, like the subjects described in this presentation, after an islet transplant a significant number of them continue with excellent graft function for over 10 years that allows them to have near-normal glucose metabolism in the absence of severe hypoglycemia on small doses of insulin. In 2016, the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Clinical Islet Transplantation Consortium reported results from its Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-authorized Phase 3 multi-center trial, of which the DRI was a part, indicating that islet transplantation was effective in preventing severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels), a particularly feared complication in type 1 diabetes that can lead to seizures, loss of consciousness and even death. The study was a significant step toward making islet transplantation an approved treatment for people with type 1 diabetes and reimbursable through health insurance, as it is in several other countries around the world.   (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Surgical Research, Transplantation, Yale / 09.04.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sanjay Kulkarni, MD MHCM FACS Associate Professor of Surgery & Medicine Surgical Director – Kidney Transplant Program Medical Director – Center for Living Organ Donors Scientific Director – Yale Transplant Research New Haven, CT 06410 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The kidney allocation system changed in December of 2014. The aim of the new system was to increase transplant in patients who were highly sensitized (difficult matches based on reactive antibodies) and to improve access to underserved populations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Kidney Disease, Medicare, Transplantation / 07.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Allyson Hart MD MS Department of Medicine, Hennepin Healthcare, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Kidney transplantation confers profound survival, quality of life, and cost benefits over dialysis for the treatment of end-stage kidney disease. Kidney transplant recipients under 65 years of age qualify for Medicare coverage following transplantation, but coverage ends after three years for patients who are not disabled. We studied 78,861 Medicare-covered kidney transplant recipients under the age of 65, and found that failure of the transplanted kidney was 990 percent to 1630 percent higher for recipients who lost Medicare coverage before this three-year time point compared with recipients who lost Medicare on time. Those who lost coverage after 3 years had a lesser, but still very marked, increased risk of kidney failure. Recipients who lost coverage before or after the three-year time point also filled immunosuppressive medications at a significantly lower rate than those who lost coverage on time. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Kidney Disease, Melanoma, Transplantation / 11.02.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with "Kidney Model 9" by GreenFlames09 is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0Donal JSextonMD, PhD Department of Nephrology and Kidney Transplantation Beaumont Hospital Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Dublin, Ireland MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Patients who receive a kidney transplant as treatment for end stage kidney disease are at risk of malignancy due to immunosuppression. In contrast to other solid organ transplant types, when kidney transplants fail it is possible for recipients to return to dialysis. Immunosuppression is usually reduced or completely stopped when  the allograft fails due to the risk of infection on dialysis. We decided to investigate what the trajectory of risk for non-melanoma skin cancer and invasive cancers overall (composite group) looked like for patients who have received multiple consecutive kidney transplants with intervening periods of graft failure. We compared cancer risk during periods of allograft failure and periods of functioning kidney transplants.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Johns Hopkins, NIH, Pulmonary Disease, Transplantation / 29.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Sean Agbor-Enoh, M.D., Ph.D. Co-Director/Staff Clinician Laboratory of Transplantation Genomics National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute National Institutes of Health MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: People who receive organ transplants may develop acute or chronic rejection, in which the body’s immune system attacks the transplanted organ. While acute rejection is treatable and reversible, chronic rejection is not and remains the most common cause for organ transplant loss. Lung transplant recipients have the shortest survival rates among patients who get solid organ transplantation of any kind—only about half live past five years. This poor survival rate among lung transplant recipients is due in part to a high incidence of chronic rejection. Existing tools for detecting signs of rejection, such as biopsy, either require the removal of small amounts of lung tissue or are not sensitive enough to discern the severity of the rejection. Building upon earlier work, our research team developed a simple blood test that can detect when a newly transplanted lung is being rejected by a patient, even when no outward signs of the rejection are evident.  The test could make it possible for doctors to intervene faster to prevent or slow down so-called chronic rejection—which is severe, irreversible, and often deadly—in those first critical months after lung transplantation. This same test might also be useful for monitoring rejection in other types of organ transplants. Called the donor-derived cell-free DNA test, the experimental test begins with obtaining a few blood droplets taken from the arm of the transplant recipient. A special set of machines then sorts the DNA fragments in the blood sample, and in combination with computer analysis, determines whether the fragments are from the recipient or the donor and how many of each type are present.  Because injured or dying cells from the donor release lots of donor DNA fragments into the bloodstream compared to normal donor cells, higher amounts of donor DNA indicate a higher risk for transplant rejection in the recipient. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pediatrics, Transplantation, Vaccine Studies / 15.01.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Amy G. Feldman, MD, MSCS Assistant Professor, Pediatrics-Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Program Director, Liver Transplant Fellowship Children's Hospital Colorado University of Colorado Medicine MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Pediatric solid organ transplant recipients are at increased risk for vaccine preventable infections due to life-long immunosuppressive medications.  The objectives of this study were to 1) evaluate in pediatric    solid organ transplant recipients the number of hospitalizations for vaccine-preventable infections in the first five years post-transplantation and 2) determine the associated morbidity, mortality and costs. In this multicenter cohort study of 6980 children who underwent solid organ transplantation from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2011, at a center participating in Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS), 15% of individuals had at least 1 hospitalization for a vaccine-preventable infection in the first 5 years after transplant.  Children who received transplants when they were younger than 2 years and recipients of lung, intestine, heart, and multi-visceral organs were at increased risk for hospitalization with a vaccine-preventable infection.  Transplant hospitalizations complicated by a vaccine-preventable infection were $120,498 more expensive (median cost) and were on average 39 days longer than transplant hospitalizations not complicated by vaccine-preventable infections (more…)
Author Interviews, Johns Hopkins, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 18.12.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chirag R Parikh, M.B.B.S., Ph.D. Director,Division of Nephrology Professor of Medicine School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland 21287  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The initial study idea stemmed from our earlier cohort studies of predictors of delayed graft function after kidney transplantation.  We previously found that kidneys from donors with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) were more often discarded than kidneys from donors without AKI, and transplanted donor AKI kidneys were at increased risk for delayed graft function. It was important to determine whether that increased risk for delayed graft function also translated into worse long-term outcomes for recipients of kidneys from donors with AKI. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, JAMA, Leukemia, Transplantation / 30.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Smita Bhatia, MD, MPH Gay and Bew White Endowed Chair in Pediatric Oncology Professor, Pediatric Oncology Vice Chair for Outcomes Research, Dept of Pediatrics Director, Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship School of Medicine University of Alabama at Birmingham Associate Director for Outcomes Research UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation BMT is used with a curative intent for life-threatening malignant and non-malignant diseases of childhood. In this observational study, we describe the late mortality experienced by children undergoing BMT over the past 3 decades. Our cohort included 1388 BMT recipients who had undergone allogeneic BMT between 1974 and 2010 and survived 2 or more years. We found that, conditional on surviving the first 2 years after bone marrow transplantation, the probability of surviving an additional 20 years approached 80%. Risk of dying from non-relapse-related causes exceeded the risk of dying from relapse-related causes. The leading non-relapse-related causes of death were infection (with or without graft vs. host disease) and new cancers. Overall, the cohort was at a 14-fold greater risk of dying as compared with the general population (of similar age and sex). Further, this excess risk remained elevated even among those who had survived 25 years. On a positive note, the risk of late mortality has continued to decline over the past 3 decades.  (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 18.07.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Mark H. Eckman, MD Posey Professor of Clinical Medicine Director, Division of General Internal Medicine Director, Center for Clinical Effectiveness University of Cincinnati Medical Center Cincinnati, OH  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: People who are infected with hepatitis C virus and have kidney failure need a kidney transplant. Recent studies have found that it is possible to transplant kidneys from donors who are infected with hepatitis C virus into patients who need a transplant and are already infected with the virus. In addition, drugs are available to cure most patients of hepatitis C virus, including those who have kidney failure. Infected patients who need a kidney transplant have 2 options. One option is to receive an infected kidney and then use drugs after the transplant to cure themselves and the transplanted kidney of the virus. Another option is to use the drugs first to get rid of the virus and then to receive a kidney from a donor who does not have hepatitis C virus infection. For the more than 500,000 patients receiving dialysis for end-stage renal disease (ESRD), less than 4% receive kidney transplants. Because of the limited organ availability, hemodialysis is the final treatment for most patients with ESRD. Of the 10% or so of U.S. patients receiving dialysis who are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), some are willing to accept HCV-infected kidneys, in part, because the wait times for such kidneys are shorter than those for HCV-uninfected kidneys. Because the yearly mortality rate for patients receiving hemodialysis is so high, between 4% and 16%, reducing the time to kidney transplant can have a dramatic effect on both survival and quality of life. Because it may not be possible to do this type of research with actual people, we created a model that allowed us to estimate possible outcomes without using actual people. The model was a computer program that combined the best available information to approximate what might happen to participants in a real-world clinical trial. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Dermatology, Environmental Risks, Melanoma, Transplantation / 08.06.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Sunscreen” by Tom Newby is licensed under CC BY 2.0Rebecca Ivy Hartman, M.D Instructor in Dermatology Brigham and Women's Hospital Boston MA 02115 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Organ transplant recipients (OTR) are at 100-fold higher risk to develop certain skin cancers compared to the general population due to immunosuppression, and thus preventing skin cancer in this population is critical. Our study found that in a high-risk Australian OTR population, only half of patients practiced multiple measures of sun protection regularly. However, after participating in a research study that required dermatology visits, patients were over 4-times more likely to report using multiple measures of sun protection regularly. Patients were more likely to have a positive behavioral change if they did not already undergo annual skin cancer screening prior to study participation. (more…)
Author Interviews, JAMA, Pulmonary Disease, Stem Cells, Transplantation / 21.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Emmanuel Martinod MD PhD Assistance Publique–Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpitaux Universitaires Paris Seine-Saint-Denis, Hôpital Avicenne, Chirurgie Thoracique et Vasculaire, Université Paris 13, Sorbonne Paris Cité, UFR Santé, Médecine et Biologie Humaine, Bobigny, Université Paris Descartes, Fondation Alain Carpentier, Laboratoire de Recherche Bio-chirurgicale, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou Paris, France  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this exciting new technology and study? What are the main findings?  Response: What is the background for this exciting new technology and study? What are the main findings? Response:  The background is 10 years of research at laboratory followed by 10 years of academic clinical research. We demonstrated the feasability of airway bioengeenring using stented aortic matrices for complex tracheal or bronchial reconstruction.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Leukemia, MD Anderson, Transplantation / 20.05.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Roy F. Chemaly, MD, MPH F.A.C.P., F.I.D.S.A. Department of Infectious Diseases Infection Control and Employee Health Division of Internal Medicine MD Anderson Center MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: CytomegalovirusCMV infection is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in allo-HCT recipients. Evidence suggests that CMV infection has not only an enormous clinical burden, but a substantial economic burden as well. We conducted this study at MD Anderson to determine the economic and clinical burden of preemptive therapy (PET) for CMV infection. Between 2012 and 2015, 100 consecutive patients hospitalized at our institution for allo-HCT who experienced reactivation of CMV and were treated pre-emptively, were enrolled. The majority of patients were men (55%), who had underlying leukemia (73%), and underwent matched unrelated donor transplant (59%). At the time of hospitalization, most patients had acute GvHD (62%), and were on steroids (58%) within 30 days of CMV reactivation which occurred at a median of 32 days post-HCT (2 -174). A total of 192 episodes of PET occurred in the 100 allo-HCT recipients within 1 year post-HCT. PET consisted of ganciclovir (41%), foscarnet (40%), and valganciclovir (38%). IVIG was also used as adjunct therapy in 20% of episodes. Progression to Cytomegalovirus disease occurred in 4 patients (4%) and mainly affected the GI tract. Mean length of stay for patients treated with ganciclovir or foscarnet was 32 days (2-141) and 41 days (1-177), respectively. The average direct cost per patient admitted for PET was $126,038 ($7,866-$641,841) and the mean cost of CMV antiviral drug per hospitalization was $6,096 for IVIG, $2,410 for foscarnet, $836 for ganciclovir, and $780 for valganciclovir. Serious side effects from PET were observed in 35% of patients on ganciclovir and 12% of patients on foscarnet. Total direct cost per encounter was significantly higher in patients who had serious side effects from foscarnet. All-cause mortality was 59% at 1 year post-transplant. (more…)
Author Interviews, Compliance, Kidney Disease, Transplantation / 27.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Bethany J. Foster, MD MSCE Montreal Children’s Hospital Department of Pediatrics, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Adolescent and young adult kidney transplant recipients have the highest risk of graft loss of any age group. One of the main reasons for this is not taking their anti-rejection medications as prescribed. Our study had the goal of testing an intervention to try to improve young patients' adherence to their strict medication schedule. The intervention included feedback of how well they were taking their medications (which was monitored electronically), text message reminders for medication doses, and individualized coaching to address their personal barriers to taking their medications. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Hematology, Lancet, Medical Imaging, Transplantation / 07.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Kirsten Williams, M.D. Blood and marrow transplant specialist Children’s National Health System  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: This study addressed a life-threatening complication of bone marrow transplantation called bone marrow failure. Bone marrow transplantation has provided a cure for patients with aggressive leukemias or acquired or genetic marrow dysfunction. The process of bone marrow transplantation involves giving chemotherapy and/or radiation, which removes the diseased blood cells from the bone marrow. After this, new bone marrow stem cells are infused from a healthy individual. They travel to the bone marrow and start the slow process of remaking the blood system. Because these new cells start from infancy, it takes upwards of four to five weeks for new mature healthy cells to emerge into the blood, where they can be identified. Historically, there has been no timely way to determine if the new cells have successfully repopulated unless they can be seen in the blood compartment. This condition of bone marrow failure is life-threatening, because patients don't have white blood cells to protect them from infection. Once bone marrow failure is diagnosed, a second new set of stem cells are infused, often after more chemotherapy is given. However, for many individuals this re-transplantation is too late, because severe infections can be fatal while waiting cells to recover. We were the first group to use a new imaging test to understand how the newly infused bone marrow cells develop inside the patient. We have recently published a way to detect the new bone marrow cell growth as early as five days after the cells are given. We used an investigational nuclear medicine test to reveal this early cell growth, which could be detected weeks before the cells appear in the blood. This radiology test is safe, does not cause any problems and is not invasive. It is called FLT (18F-fluorothymidine) and the contrast is taken up by dividing hematopoietic stem cells. The patients could even see the growth of their new cells inside the bone marrow (which they very much enjoyed while waiting to see recovery of the cells in their blood). We could use the brightness of the image (called SUV) to determine approximately how many weeks remained before the cells were visible in the blood. Finally, we actually could see where the new cells went after they were infused, tracking their settling in various organs and bones. Through this, we could see that cells did not travel directly to all of the bones right away as was previously thought, but rather first went to the liver and spleen, then to the mid-spine (thorax), then to the remainder of the spine and breastplate, and finally to the arms and legs. This pattern of bone marrow development is seen in healthy developing fetuses. In this case, it occurs in a similar pattern in adults undergoing bone marrow transplant. (more…)
Author Interviews, Autism, Stem Cells, Transplantation / 10.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Michael G. Chez, M.D. Director of Pediatric Neurology Sutter Memorial Hospital Director of the Pediatric Epilepsy and Autism Programs Sutter Neuroscience Group  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The study looked at possible use of autologous cord blood as a source of stem cells in patients with autism. The patients had to have fairly good genetic screening per protocol and had confirmation of autism to participate. The use of cord blood was a pilot cross over double blind study with hypothesis that a post natal factor or immune dysregulation may add to the autism clinical phenotype. Cord blood ( the baby’s own from birth) is a safe source of mixed stem cell types and should be safe from rejection or autoimmune reaction in theory. Infusion /placebo or placebo/infusion was randomized and observed and tested every 3 months with switch to other wing of treatment at 0 and 6 months. Total observation was over 1 year. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Sexual Health, Transplantation / 01.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Christina Lee Chung, MD Associate Professor Department of Dermatology Drexel University

MedicalResearch.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: In early 2016, five years after the inception of our specialty medical-surgical transplant dermatology center, we realized our nonwhite transplant patients were developing skin cancer at higher rates and found interesting trends. These data were published in a previous manuscript. One of the more striking findings was that these patients were developing a high proportion of skin cancer in non-sun-exposed areas such as the genital region. There are no standard guidelines regarding genital skin evaluation and it is unclear how often it is performed in any capacity amongst dermatologists, including practitioners in our center, quite frankly. Our group was concerned that we could be missing skin cancers in this “hidden” area in our high-risk organ transplant population so we launched a quality improvement initiative that incorporated thorough genital skin evaluation as a standard part of post-transplant skin cancer screening.   

Fifteen months after we started this modified screening process, we decided to evaluate the results. To account for any variation in examination, we looked at the findings of a single practitioner. We found that genital lesions are common in the transplant population and include high rates of genital warts and skin cancer. However, patient awareness of the presence of genital lesions was alarmingly low. Nonwhite transplant patients, Black transplant recipients in particular, were disproportionately affected by both genital warts and genital skin cancer in our cohort. Similar to cervical cancer, high-risk HPV types were closely associated with genital squamous cell carcinoma development in our transplant population. (more…)