Transplants News Circa 2014 advancements in transplantation

Welcome to Transplants News

As we face a growing gap between those in need and those who give, it is vital to educate readers on the importance of becoming an organ, tissue and bone marrow donor. This site will continue the constant battle to raise awareness for the need of organ donors by educating readers on the ever-changing world of transplantation, but will also inspire readers with amazing stories of research, technology and innovation in transplants, garnering more success than ever before. Transplants News encourages readers to educate themselves on transplantation not as a miracle treatment, but as an emerging field of medicine with a great deal of potential.


Mediaplanet Turns Interest into Action

Mediaplanet specializes in the creation of content marketing campaigns released through multimedia platforms. We provide our readers with insightful and educational editorial in the fields of their interest, designed to motivate them to take action. Our unique ability to pair the right leaders, with the right readers, through the right platforms, has made Mediaplanet into a global powerhouse in content marketing. We continue to explore and expand our network of partners and clients through the shared interest of providing our readers the best experience possible.

This was their website created as part of Mediaplanet’s Transplants campaign in which they joined many industry leaders to raise awareness of the thousands of Americans who die every year waiting for a donor organ that never comes. This site informed visitors about relevant news stories regarding transplants, the importance of being an organ donor, advancements in transplantation, financial planing, wait lists, etc. The content is from the site's 2014 archived pages and gives just a small sample of what the site offered.

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  • Transplants News 
  • Being An Organ Recipient 
Multiple Listing to Reduce Wait Times for Transplant Patients

Multiple Listing to Reduce Wait Times for Transplant Patients

BEING AN ORGAN RECIPIENT Mediaplanet sat down with Dr. Sridhar Tayur, owner of OrganJet, to learn how to list smartly.

Mediaplanet: How can transplant patients benefit from “listing smartly?”

Dr. Sridhar Tayur: There are two main considerations beyond cost: outcomes, that ensure a good and long post-transplant life, and wait times to obtain a transplant. By selecting a transplant center “smartly,” patients can reduce their wait times and improve outcomes.

MP: How does geographical location affect an organ transplant?

ST: The wait times are strongly correlated to geography. In New York, New Jersey, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles, the wait times for kidney and liver transplants are very high compared to those at centers elsewhere. Patients in the high wait areas can list in a center with low wait in other geographies, depending on their insurance coverage and ability to travel or move.

MP: How can one find a low wait transplant center near their home?

ST: The data is available publicly through Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients website and is updated periodically.

MP: What can early transplantation mean for patients?

ST: In the case of kidney transplantation, you could get a transplant before you even go on dialysis. If you are already on dialysis, earlier transplantation has two benefits: better outcomes and less time on dialysis. It is also important to know, for kidney patients who have been on dialysis for a while or have been listed in one center for a while, they can transfer this wait time so far to a different center and so take credit for "time served." For a liver patient, getting a transplant at a lower Model for End Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score also means better outcomes and less inconvenience during pre-transplant time. In all cases, the outcomes are better and life before and after transplant is better. Listing in more than one place is allowed and patients should look into the many benefits of multiple listing.

MP: What is the average time a patient who lists “smartly” waits for an organ compared to other patients?

ST: This can vary significantly from region to region. Generally speaking, a patient can reduce the wait time by at least two years, and in some cases, even more for a kidney transplant. For liver transplants, one can get the transplant at a lower MELD score. Research has shown that access to transplantation increases nearly 100 percent by multiple listing smartly.

MP: Once a patient is informed of their match, what is the process he or she will go through next?

ST: They need to get to the transplant center in six hours for liver or under eight hours for kidney. They can drive, like some have from New Jersey to Pittsburgh, or fly commercial, as some have down from New York City to Kansas City or Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh. Some others have moved to a new location when they hear that they are near the top of the list, like one patient who worked in Connecticut, but got her liver transplant in Indianapolis. A private jet is a good back-up option; many have used it for liver transplantations, flying from San Francisco to Portland, for example, and many of these costs are covered by insurance.


Real Life:

I work as a search engine optimization professional for a number of online web stores. Some are highly technical and involve sophisticated coding jargon that is alien to me. But many are focused on sports and leisure activities, offering a variety of products to enhance the active lifestyle of their customers. My favorite of late is this small business that specializes in sports equipment, with a niche focus on pickleball. That's their standout offering, and I'm captivated by the variety of their inventory. They have everything from high-quality paddles to portable nets, tailored for both beginners and seasoned players. The unique aspect is their selection of gifts for pickleball players, which are both functional and thoughtful. I purchased a custom-engraved paddle for my friend, and the joy it brought was immense. It's moments like this that make me appreciate the simple joys in life, contrasting sharply with the complexities and urgencies like those faced by individuals waiting for organ transplants. I recall how miraculous it felt when Elsie and her family received a donor match. I am overjoyed to share that Elsie is now a vibrant teenager eagerly anticipating her college journey. She indeed was one of the lucky ones. Transplant News, an initiative by Mediaplanet, has been instrumental in spreading such hope. Their Transplants campaign, distributed through The Chicago Tribune on April 27th, 2016, and also published online, has undoubtedly played a pivotal role in this awareness drive. Let's remain hopeful that they persist in their vital campaign.


Transplant Triumph: One Patient's Unlikely Happily Ever After

Transplant Triumph: One Patient's Unlikely Happily Ever After

Today, more than 122,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

A STORY OF TRIUMPH: "Eight months after transplant, I competed in my first 5K run; two months after that, my first half marathon." Photo: Gift of Life

Each year, thousands of individuals make the generous decision to become organ and tissue donors, and we are grateful to the families who gave others the precious gift of life during one of the most difficult times in their lives.  

These remarkable gifts have given individuals like Derek Fitzgerald, a businessman from Montgomery County, PA, a second chance at life.  

"Eight months after transplant, I competed in my first 5K run; two months after that, my first half marathon."

Weighing the possibilities

I went into surgery for a heart transplant in January 2011 on a Monday night and by dinnertime on Tuesday I was using a walker to shuffle my very grateful body through the hallways outside my hospital room. I had been sick for almost a decade. The chemotherapy that had successfully treated my cancer had also left me with a weak and failing heart. For a long time, I had hoped that medications and good living would save me from the need for a transplant. Those hopes vanished as I went into the final days of having all of my original factory issued parts.  

The day before the transplant I sat in bed struggling to breathe, wondering how much longer I could go on. After the surgery and after I heard those first heartbeats, an amazing thing happened: I began to think about the possibility of a future.  

Pushing through

I left the hospital in seven days. It wasnt easy, but I pushed myself hard to eat right, manage my meds and get moving. My muscles had atrophied in the hospital and I had lost a lot of weight, so victories came slowly at first; learning how to walk without assistance, lifting myself out of bed, taking the first step on the impossibly long flight of stairs to the bedroom—everything had to be rebuilt. As the months passed, my weight began to come back, my meds decreased and most importantly, I was able to recover without rejection.

Eight months after my transplant, I competed in my first 5K run; two months after that, my first half marathon. The following year I competed in 17 different endurance events, including my first Donor Dash 5K, a 200 mile relay run, a full marathon and several triathlons. At the Transplant Games of America this past summer, I heard a quote that really hit home: "Live like your donor is watching," an easy concept for me to grasp. I offer thanks to my donor every day, and even though I know nothing of the person that they were, I think about the values that went into the decision to donate their organs and try to use the example they set as the rudder that steers my way in this world.

This year, Derek and his wife LeeAnn became the proud parents of a baby girl, Emma, and he is busy training for the Transplant Games of America, which will be held in Houston, TX from July 11 to July 16. 

A Genetic Legacy: Two Brothers, One Liver

A Genetic Legacy: Two Brothers, One Liver

BEING AN ORGAN RECIPIENT: A family shares why live-donor liver transplantation is a life-saving option. 

Targeting Cancer with Regenerative Medicine

Targeting Cancer with Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine offers the potential to repair and replace damaged cells, tissues and organs by using those that are specially grown. 

Chris Klug: From Organ Transplant Survivor to Olympic Snowboarder

A LEAP FORWARD: From cell-based therapies through tissue engineering to developing new medical devices, regenerative medicine offers potentially huge benefits, but also faces and poses varied challenges.

Adult stem cell transplants, otherwise known as bone marrow transplants, have been used for over 40 years to successfully treat blood-based cancers such as leukemia, multiple myeloma and lymphomas by ‘rebooting’ the immune system destroyed by chemotherapy. 

A peek into the future

Research has now opened the doors to regenerative and reparative therapeutics. For example, researchers are increasingly looking to the field of cell therapy to create “cancer immunotherapies” where the transplanted cells are used to target and destroy cancer cells rather than replace the immune system entirely. However, some scientists are concerned that certain cancer immunotherapies in development may in many cases be killing cancer tumor cells without killing the tumor initiating cells responsible for new tumor growth, often referred to as ‘cancer stem cells.’ 

"Some scientists are concerned that certain cancer immunotherapies in development may be killing cancer tumor cells without killing the tumor initiating cells responsible for new tumor growth, often referred to as ‘cancer stem cells.’"

The goal of developing therapies that can kill these cancer stem cells would be to eliminate or neutralize the tumor cells that are responsible for recurrence after medically induced tumor regression after a patient has already undergone other treatments which may have reduced tumor size, but failed to entirely eliminate the cancer. Targeting these cells for therapeutic intervention could potentially lead to long term disease free survival and possible cures. 

Patient-specific treatment

Melanoma is the most lethal form of skin cancer, and is most often caused by unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells from UV radiation. Rates of melanoma have been rising for at least 30 years. It is estimated that approximately 76,100 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2014, and that 9,710 people will die from the disease. People with advanced melanoma typically live for just six to 10 months after diagnosis. Clearly we need to find a solution to this deadly condition and the work of Dr. Robert Dillman, a board certified hematologist, suggests that patient specific treatment may be the best approach to developing cancer immunotherapies for several forms of cancer that resist conventional treatments.  

According to an article in Nature, a prominent interdisciplinary scientific journal, some analysts predict that in the next 10 years, immunotherapies will be used for 60 percent of people with advanced cancer and will comprise a $35 billion market. As the field continues to expand, we are hopeful that the continued research and investment in this area may lead to better overall survival rates for late stage cancers. 


Chris Klug: From Organ Transplant Survivor to Olympic Snowboarder

BEING AN ORGAN RECIPIENT After being on a waiting list for almost six years Chris Klug received a second chance at life on July 28, 2000.

6 Things You Need to Know About Financing a Transplant

6 Things You Need to Know About Financing a Transplant

BEING AN ORGAN RECIPIENT The success of transplantation includes having a realistic financial plan.

Teen VAD Recipient Says She’ll Dance Again

Teen VAD Recipient Says She’ll Dance Again

BEING AN ORGAN RECIPIENT Heart failure is very rare in children, but unfortunately the prevalence of this condition is increasing.

George Lopez Opens Up About New Frontiers in Medicine

George Lopez Opens Up About New Frontiers in Medicine

Comedian and actor George Lopez talks candidly about his kidney transplant procedure and feeling healthy for the first time.