September 19, 2008

UCSF Celebrates 45th Anniversary of Transplant Service

As a world leader in organ transplantation, UCSF will celebrate its 45th year of transplantation with a week of exciting workshops, lectures and forums.

"Virtually every single person in this country knows someone who has end-stage organ disease and who could benefit from transplantation," said Nancy Ascher, MD, PhD, chair of the department of surgery. "UCSF has premier programs in transplantation of virtually all the solid organs. Our expert teams of specialists provide outstanding patient care. They offer even the most seriously ill patients the best chance of successful outcomes, and ensure patients' lives after transplant are as normal as possible."

During Transplantation Week from September 22-28, 2008, UCSF will host a number of events open to the public with topics including nutrition, sexuality after transplant, Hepatitis B and C awareness and screening, fitness and transplants, and HIV and transplantation. There will also be a forum for living donors, as well as a liver transplant celebration for 2,000 patients who have received a liver transplant at UCSF during the last 20 years.

Since performing its first kidney transplant in 1964, UCSF has performed transplants on more than 10,000 patients--enough to fill every seat in Davies Symphony Hall three times over; the kidney transplant program is one of the largest in the world. This spring, UCSF performed its 500th transplant in its heart and lung program and performs more than 500 transplants per year, including 360 kidney, 160 liver, 22 heart, 35 lung, 15 pancreas, and 10 islet cell transplants.

In addition, UCSF's world-renowned physicians engage in novel research that not only helps transplant patients, but also improves health outcomes for all patients. These discoveries have helped reduce the number of transplants that become necessary, and have shed new light on the biology of diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV.

The field of transplantation has evolved with astonishing speed: the first transplant in the world was performed in 1954, and as recently as the early 1980s, the one-year survival rate for liver transplant recipients was only 20%. Today, that survival rate has risen to 90%. UCSF's transplant survival rates are comparable or superior to the average in every area, even though UCSF treats some of the most seriously ill patients. Some of UCSF's other transplant innovations include:

-- Living donor program, in which healthy donors can donate one kidney or part of their liver to a transplant patient.

-- Paired donor exchange, in which UCSF matches a donor and recipient pair with incompatible blood types with another donor-recipient pair, enabling two recipients to receive organs with perfectly matched blood types.

-- HIV and transplantation: UCSF has pioneered the successful kidney, liver, pancreas and islet transplantation of HIV+ patients.

-- Islet transplantation, in which patients receive the insulin-producing cells from a donor's pancreas, virtually curing them from diabetes.

For more information about Transplant Week at UCSF: