“Preparing for Combined Stem Cell and Solid Organ Transplants: Learning from Hematopoietic Mixed Chimeras”
Lead: Dr. Joerg Krueger from The Hospital For Sick Children (Toronto)
Research Team: Drs. Donna Wall (ON), Lori West (AB), Victor Lewis (AB), Pierre Teira (QC), Elie Haddad (QC), Sunil Desai (AB), Rulan Parekh (ON), Geoffrey Cuvelier (MB), Kirk Schultz (BC)
Dr. Krueger’s team will look at how to combine a stem cell transplant with a solid organ transplant to convince the recipient’s immune system into accepting the new organ as its own. The study will examine a select population of kids from centres across Canada who have had stem cell transplants and have been able to achieve a state of tolerance to determine why some pediatric patients are able to achieve tolerance and others are not. This could potentially mean that transplant patients would no longer require immune suppression drugs, effectively turning transplant into a cure. This project will be incorporated into the CNTRP Project 6: Improving pediatric outcomes in transplantation and the CNTRP Project 4: Strategies for immunomodulation and transplant tolerance.
The need for pediatric specific transplant research cannot be over-stated. In Canada (excluding Quebec), between 2006-2015, 1101 children had solid organ transplants. That number continues to grow exponentially every year as medical advances have made it possible for some of the sickest patients to survive. However, pediatric transplant patients are not simply small adults. They have unique needs and issues that require specific areas of study. This is why research is so critical!
“We are thrilled our first project through the Addison Fund is such innovative cutting edge research that could prove to be a game changer for kids who need transplants,” says Addison’s mom Elaine Yong. “Transplant isn’t a cure, at least not yet, and we know research will get us there.”