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NIH Record

CC To Host Organ Transplant Program

The Clinical Center will become the site for an innovative new kidney, pancreas, and islet transplant program designed in conjunction with several major research centers.

"The Clinical Center is fortunate to be a collaborator in this exciting scientific opportunity," said CC director Dr. John Gallin. "We are working closely with several organizations to provide the necessary resources — including staff, equipment and space — to fully support this important initiative."

The effort is a collaboration between the CC, NIDDK, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Naval Medical Research Center, and the Diabetes Research Institute of the University of Miami.

Program planners hope this initiative will allow tests of novel therapies that can eliminate the need for immunosuppressive drugs, which are taken by patients to keep their bodies from rejecting new transplanted organs such as kidneys.

Patients with Type 1 diabetes could also potentially benefit from the new program. In these patients, insulin-producing cell clusters called islets have been destroyed. In the past, islet transplants often didn't work because anti-rejection therapies failed. This new program could offer new treatment options to benefit these patients.

A new Navy-NIDDK Transplantation and Autoimmunity Research Branch will develop the actual clinical protocols involved with the program. It is anticipated that research advances from this branch will translate into pilot clinical trials.

The CC will be the site for these phase 1 and phase 2 trials, which test the safety and effectiveness of a treatment in small numbers of people. If successful, the findings uncovered here could provide the basis for larger studies that could be conducted around the country.

The program is expected to begin this summer.

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