In my blog post from 8/4/15, I talked about a transplant innovation called ex-vivo lung perfusion (EVLP). If you missed that post, you may want to go back & read it before reading this one. (I just linked to it if you need bounce back).
I was thrilled to see this article hit my social media feeds yesterday (Not just because I’m such a science geek about this type of stuff either). I was not aware of the potential for EVLP to play a role in helping reduce rejection; although I had been made aware of its amazing capabilities to rehabilitate potentially “iffy” lungs & make them viable. Also the ability to improve preservation techniques for lungs in general. This technology keeps the lungs viable outside the body for longer which is important if transport and time is a concern with the donor lungs.
I guess I should not be as shocked to read this news since the more I dig into understanding the technology behind EVLP, the more it makes sense & the more capabilities are found.
Any techniques that can be used to delay or prevent rejection are exciting because that’s one of the main fears (& challenges) of transplantees & doctors alike.
I am excited to see what transpires with the University of Manchester in this regard with these tests (as they appear to be in animal study right now). Hopefully, if it translates successfully it can be brought to the U.S., undergo some clinical trials, & play a role in boosting outcomes in the near future.
I was mentioning to several friends in the research community over the past few days to feel fortunate to be in this place where there are so many exciting & interesting advances in transplantation taking place right now.
When I was having health challenges back in 2009 and prior, many outcomes for transplant were not as strong & many of these advances weren’t on the map, much less being actively utilized.
Over my 12 years of living with LAM & TSC, there were quite a few years where I was seeing very mixed results with people when it came to transplantation. However, since 2009, I have heard more positive stories than negative outcomes.
Even those with complications have expressed that they feel they are in a much better place post-transplant than they were pre-transplant. That gives me hope & encouragement when I start to question sometimes if it’s worth all the potential challenges that come with it.
I also find it a comfort to know there are so many advances being made to try & head off some of these challenges before they can even try & take hold. Advances like these can really make the difference for people so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the University of Manchester is onto something.
I’m fortunate to have a center that is forward-thinking and tends to jump early on advances. They currently utilize EVLP. I’m curious to see what they might think about this if I get the chance to ask them about it at my next follow-up.
For some additional reading, here is the link to the press release from the University of Manchester itself.