April 9, 2020

Transforming the future of organ transplantation

By Susan Buckles

Mayo Clinic is turning to regenerative medicine to address a critical shortage of donor organs. Physicians and scientists are studying 3D printing, tissue engineering and cellular and cell free therapies as ways to build new organs or restore the health of organs that previously were discarded. The ultimate goal is to provide a transplant for everyone with organ failure who needs one. 

More than 110,000 Americans are currently on the organ donor waiting list, and a new name is added every 10 minutes, according to the National Foundation for Transplants, which estimates that 20 people die every day before a suitable match is found.

With support from the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine, physicians and scientists at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus will lead Transforming Transplant, a translational science initiative to provide new clinical options for patients with organ dysfunction and failure.

The Transforming Transplant initiative seeks to advance research into:

  • Bioengineering new organs that could be used in place of human donors.
  • Exploring the use of stem cells to prevent organ failure.
  • Restoring the health of donor organs that were previously considered too old or medically risky to be transplanted.
  • Preventing the need for transplant by diagnosing disease earlier, when organ function could still be preserved.
  • Eliminating the need for lifelong immunosuppressant measures following transplant.
C. Burcin Tanner, M.D.

“Organ transplantation is often referred to as one of the greatest achievements in the history of medicine. In the last three decades, enormous strides have been made, but there are still unmet needs,” says C. Burcin Taner, M.D., chair, Department of Transplantation, on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. “The ultimate goal of this multidisciplinary initiative is to significantly decrease or eliminate organ failure and the number of deaths on the organ transplant wait list,”

This initiative comes as Mayo Clinic, a pioneer and leader in the field, recently reached a milestone of performing its 20,000th organ transplant.

Read more on that story.

Tags: #Dr. C. Burcin Taner, #Dr. Dennis Wigle, #Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine, #Organ Transplants, Mayo Clinic Florida, Organ transplants, Research, Uncategorized

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