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Hope for Improved Pancreatic Transplants

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07 Apr 2016

A researcher from Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) is hoping to develop a test to accurately check the suitability of donor pancreatic organs for transplantation, after being awarded a fellowship from the UK's oldest surgical college, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Mr Iestyn Shapey, specialist registrar in MRI’s Department of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation, working under the supervision of Mr David van Dellen, consultant transplant surgeon, aims to identify a test with the potential to accurately inform surgeons whether pancreas cells are alive and functioning before they are transplanted.

Iestyn explained:

"There is a shortage of high quality organ donors appropriate for pancreas transplantation. In 2015, only 35% of pancreases that were offered for transplantation were eventually transplanted. There is currently no robust tool available to objectively assess of their suitability for transplantation."

The aim of this project is to identify a test with the potential to accurately inform specialists whether pancreas cells are working correctly and hence their suitability for transplantation. The test could also be used to monitor the transplant recipients afterwards for signs of worsening performance and loss of the transplanted pancreas.

With over 500 years of education, assessment and advancement of the profession of surgery, the College delivers exacting standards and helps to make positive differences to patient outcomes and care.

Commenting on Mr Shapey’s work, President of The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and consultant colorectal surgeon in Dundee, Mr Michael Lavelle-Jones said:

“The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh has a long history of innovation and advancement and over the last 20 years, has committed over £7 million to support over 700 individual surgeons working in university departments and hospitals throughout the UK and internationally."

“Through our Maurice Wohl Research Fellowship and the College’s Small Pump Priming Grant, we are pleased to be supporting Mr Shapey’s research and believe his efforts will make a significant contribution to surgical education, training and surgical advancement."

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