MRC Centre for Transplantation 10 year anniversary

This year, Frontiers in Transplantation will celebrate 10 years of the MRC Centre for Transplantation with a 2 day scientific programme celebrating the ground breaking advances enabled through the MRC Centre for Transplantation.  
The MRC Centre for Transplantation, since it started almost 10 years ago, has launched numerous investigator-led clinical studies out of its basic science programme.  This is in part due to the phenomenal contribution of our researcher training programme.  Frontiers in Transplantation 2017 will celebrate the links between basic research and medical advances and the impact and benefit for patients.  Above all, Frontiers in Transplantation will bring alive the concept of translating the experiment for clinical benefit through a multifaceted process combining science, technology and healthcare innovation. 

To further celebrate our achievements we will be holding a event, open to friends, family and the public, in the evening of Thursday 5 October.

Sharing staff success

Congratulations to Professor Dasgupta who was awarded the Gold National Clinical Excellence Award 2016.  

Professor Ghulam Mufti was awarded an OBE for services to haematological medicine in the 2017 New Year's Honours.

Miriam Manook, who participated in the exchange with Duke, and colleagues had an article, Post-listing survival for highly sensitised patients on the UK kidney transplant waiting list: a matched cohort analysis, published in the Lancet.

Pankaj Chandak and colleague have had an article, Insights in Transplanting Complex Paediatric Renal Recipients With Vascular Anomalies, accepted into Transplantation.

Operating on a King - by Pankaj Chandak

How MRC Research Fellows acted as surgeons in the new Netflix series The Crown.

Last October, I received a phone call from our very own KCL Professor, Harold Ellis, who was previously a Professor of Surgery at Westminster where Clement Price Thomas worked.
Professor Ellis had been approached by a Production Team to see if he or others he knew could advise on a new series by Netflix called the “The Crown” where the Director wanted to film a surgical scene replicating the King's lung operation as it would have been performed in Buckingham Palace in 1952.
On Sunday 22nd November in Goldsmith's Hall - made to look like the inside of Buckingham Palace with an operating theatre in the middle - the team scrubbed up! We all crowded around the “King” in a full period operating theatre from the 1950's. Professor Mamode, as Sir Clement took the lead, with Francis and me assisting and Sister Kim as Scrub Nurse with Abigail. Once we settled in it felt like a normal operating day and we executed our movements efficiently and smoothly much to the delight of the Director! It felt real for us and them! We began by opening the chest and inspecting the thoracic cavity and visualising the diseased lung and heart (beating- thanks to prosthetic team). There was far and close up shots of our hands and Prof Mamode and Mr Calder exchanged some dialogue (freestyle) about how diseased the lung and discussed with the Royal Physicians (actors) in theatre the gravity of the situation and that removal was necessary. Sister Kim swiftly gave us the instruments necessary to do this and at the end they filmed my hands close-up, tying off the blood vessels in the chest and walking away with the lung. The whole shoot took about 12 hours with different views and cuts.

I requested that the Gordon Museum keep the bodies used in the film to illustrate the close relationship between medicine and the arts. Maybe in a few years, young medical students will be inspired and intrigued to learn how Professor Ellis and a transplant team from Guy's were involved in this incredible process. My vision is to use the body props for future demonstrations and lectures. To show how surgery was performed back then to how we aim for minimally invasive (keyhole and Robotic) surgery nowadays - meaning that patients can leave hospital quicker, in less pain and with improved outcomes.

Sharing findings from the GAMBIT/DECISIONS study

Maria Hernandez Fuentes hosted a very successful research findings evening for patients involved in the Decisions and Gambit studies on Monday 14 November. Public engagement is a key part of many grants and the evening was a perfect opportunity for those involved in the study to hear the benefits of their participation, how the results will impact future studies and it also acted as a platform for the MRC Centre for Transplantation and the BRC to raise awareness of other trials being conducted.

OuTSMART: UK's largest renal transplant clinical trial reaches patient recruitment target

The OuTSMART Trial Management Team lead by Chief Investigator Professor Anthony Dorling, are delighted to announce that the number of kidney transplant patients now consented onto a seven-year clinical trial known as OuTSMART, has reached the nationwide target of 2,094.
The trial, being run from the MRC Centre for Transplantation at King's College London, involves a total of thirteen Renal Units nationwide. These sites include: Guy's Hospital, Royal London Hospital, Manchester Royal Infirmary, St James's University Hospital Leeds, University Hospital Birmingham, King's College Hospital, St Helier Hospital, Royal Free Hospital, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Salford Royal, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Preston, York Hospital and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire. Recruitment to the trial began in September 2013 and was successfully completed at all sites in October 2016.
The OuTSMART trial (Optimized TacrolimuS and MMF for HLA Antibodies after Renal Transplantation) is funded by the Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme which is an MRC and NIHR partnership ( This study was designed to test whether a structured screening programme to identify patients with a validated prognostic biomarker for kidney transplant failure (HLA antibodies), allied with an optimized immunosuppression treatment protocol, can reduce transplant failure rates over time. As such, all randomised participants will be followed up for the next three and a half years. During this time we will be measuring kidney graft rejection between the different randomisation arms. The study will be completed in 2020 with results published soon after.

It is hoped that results from OuTSMART will provide information required to increase the life span of kidney transplants in patients with HLA antibodies. Currently the NHS spending on kidney failure services is 3% of the total budget and the National Service Framework recognizes transplantation as the most clinically and cost effective treatment for patients with kidney failure. As such, studies like OuTSMART are helping to maximise rates of transplantation and improve the quality of life of kidney transplant patients.

The Trial Management Team would like to thank all research staff based in the Renal Units involved in the trial across the UK. Their dedication and hard work have contributed towards reaching our recruitment target to schedule. Furthermore, the team would like to express their appreciation to the renal transplant patients involved in the trial. The commitment that the participants are making to OuTSMART is invaluable and will result in a successful trial.

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