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In the News 2011

A teenager with leukemia receives the gift of a bone marrow transplant and, for the next 10 years, gives back
The Washington Post, December 15, 2011
When a young person dies, we try to make sense of this seemingly senseless act. We develop a narrative for this Tragedy — capital “T,” as in Shakespearean Tragedy — that will align the facts into a kind of coherence we can live with. We borrow story lines from the Bible or other religious texts, novels and plays, in order to draw comfort — someone has passed this way before — and to fend off the awful randomness of fate....Karin underwent radiation and chemotherapy at Johns Hopkins Hospital, but because of a genetic variation, she would need a bone marrow transplant to survive. In the next few months, as her parents scrambled to locate a match, Karin grew sicker and lapsed into a coma.

Marrow Transplant Breakthroughs
Fox 23 News, December 12, 2011
Two-thirds of people in need of bone marrow transplants have to rely on an unrelated donor; only half of those will find a perfect match. But now there is a new alternative that could change everything.

Did You Know About the Sickle-Cell Cure?
The Root, December 5, 2011
Medical breakthroughs in curing sickle-cell anemia and treating HIV/AIDS and prostate cancer may dramatically improve life for the millions of people struggling with these diseases, but there are significant barriers that may keep African Americans from receiving this new, high-quality care...By participating in the Hopkins trial, Andrew may be helping thousands with severe sickle-cell disease. "Andrew and his mom are not average patients," says Dr. Allen Chen, director of Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation at Hopkins, and Andrew's physician. "

Pregnancy after kidney transplant has risks, but can succeed, study says: Healthy Cleveland, December 6, 2011
Most women with chronic kidney disease or kidney failure who must go on dialysis -- more than 90 percent, by some accounts -- face a devastating reality: the loss of fertility. But it's not necessarily permanent, if a woman receives a transplant...."But just because [a woman] can carry to term successfully does not mean there aren't risks," says Johns Hopkins University transplant surgeon Dr. Dorry Segev.

US Organ Shortage - Presumed Consent Not the Solution
Medical News Today, December 1, 2011
According to new John Hopkins research, organ donation rates in the United States are not likely to increase by changing from an opt-in process, whereby individuals check a box on their driver's license application for example, to an opt-out process, known as presumed consent, in which a person will automatically donate their organs unless they explicitly object whilst they are alive.

Study Reveals Strongest Link Yet Between Organ Transplants, Cancer
The Baltimore Sun, November 26, 2011
The most comprehensive study ever on the link between organ donations and cancer is arming physicians with new data that could help make the procedures safer..."This quantifies it better, which is really important," said Dr. Dorry Segev, the director of clinical research and transplant surgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who has seen the study. "This opens the door for a lot of important questions to be answered with regards to who the patients are that are at risk and when the risk seems to emerge so we can do screening then."

QB Whisperer Analyzes What Ails Tom Brady, November 23, 2011
Tom Martinez knows something is wrong with his star pupil. It jumps off the TV screen when he watches Tom Brady deliver the football...The man who has been with Brady since the quarterback was a youngster first starting out has been in ill health for a while, but recently received positive news in that Johns Hopkins has accepted him for a potentially life-saving kidney transplant.

Racial disparities still exist for kidney recipients, November 8, 2011
The reversal of a kidney allocation policy has improved black patients' chances of receiving a new organ from a deceased donor, U.S. researchers say. Until 2003, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) gave priority to potential recipients who had a genetic match with the deceased donor in terms of HLA-B, an antigen involved in the body's immune response to foreign tissue. HLA-B similarity tends to be race-based.

Older Patients Can Donate Kidneys, Study Finds
The Baltimore Sun, November 3, 2011
The thousands of people waiting for a new kidney may find hope in a new study that finds older people can safely donate the organs. Johns Hopkins doctors found that kidney transplants performed using organs from live donors over the age of 70 are safe for the donors and help save lives of those who receive them.
Also covered by:, DoctorsLounge

Women Can Have Successful Pregnancy After Kidney Transplantation
News Medical, October 21, 2011
A new study recently published in the American Journal of Transplantation reveals that the ability to successfully carry a pregnancy after kidney transplantation is very high, with 73.5% live birth rates. Researchers led by Dorry Segev, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of articles published between 2000 and 2010 that reported pregnancy-related outcomes among KT recipients.

New Transplant Method May Eliminate Need for Lifelong Medication
Fox News, October 11, 2011
A new technique for organ transplants may eliminate the need for lifelong anti-rejection drugs after surgery, according to a recent study. Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a way to stimulate stem cells in rats after a liver transplant as a means of preventing rejection of the new organ without the need for immunosuppressant drugs.

Taiwan HIV Organ Transplant Tragedy Opens HIV Medication, Donor Talks, September 1, 2011
How could this happen? It has been reported that a man who fell to his death in Taiwan last week had his family donate his organs to needing recipients. However, the family was not aware he was HIV positive and now five patients are infected with the deadly virus. Dr Dorry Segev comments.

Local Kidney-Donation Chain Links Mismatched Pairs to Benefit Many Patients, August 17, 2011
When Anne Peniazek decided to donate a kidney at age 65, the Narberth woman had bigger hopes than helping just one person. She and her surgeon James Lim of Lankenau Medical Center wanted to start a movement. Instead of arranging a typical kidney donation, Lim helped her start an open-ended kidney-donation chain, one of a small number in the United States.

Younger Blacks Fare Worse on Dialysis, Study Finds
U.S. News & World Report Health, August 9, 2011
A new study appears to upend the long-held belief that black patients with kidney failure do better on dialysis than whites. Researchers found that black patients younger than 50 years old who receive the blood-filtering process actually fare worse than whites.
Also featured in:, ScienceDailyThe Baltimore Sun,

National Policy Change Reduces Racial Disparity in Kidney Transplant
e! Science News, August 2, 2011
A national transplant policy change designed to give African-American patients greater access to donor kidneys has sliced in half the racial disparities that have long characterized the allocation of lifesaving organs, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

New Hope for Patients Who Need Kidney Transplants
Los Angeles Times, July 27, 2011
Kidney transplants could become more common thanks to a treatment that makes it easier to match patients with living donors, according to a new study.
Also featured in: National Public Radio, U.S. News and World Report, ScienceNews,

On Time: Kidney Disease
CBS Baltimore, June 12, 2011
Dr. Niraj Desai talks about kidney disease and its causes.

Transplant Surgery No Riskier at Night: Study, June 1, 2011
Surgeon fatigue has been blamed for adverse outcomes among patients operated on at night, but new research finds that time of day has no effect on the survival rates of patients undergoing heart and lung transplants.
Also featured in: The New York Times

A 'Community Pillar,' Johnston Recovers from Transplant
The News Virginian, April 11, 2011
Retired Mathers Construction CEO John Johnston knows all about formidable challenges, but he faced the fight of his life this year when talking to a physician about chronic lung disease.

A New Push to Let HIV Patients Accept Organs that are Infected
The New York Times, April 11, 2011
    David Aldridge of Los Angeles had a kidney transplant in 2006, but he will soon need another. Like many people living with H.I.V., he suffers from kidney damage, either from the virus or from the life-saving medications that keep it at bay.
   Also covered by: BBC World Service

Ending HIV Organ Donation Ban Could Eliminate Transplant Waiting List for People with HIV, March 30, 2011
The lack of available organs means that many people—both HIV positive and HIV negative—die waiting for an organ from a matched donor.

You Have the Power to Donate Life
Frederick News Post, March 22, 2011
April is National Donate Life Month. One young man donated six organs to help others live longer, healthier lives.

Kidney Exchange Helps Rescue Grateful Couple, March 9, 2011
David Mouser was ready to give a kidney to his wife to ensure her health. Instead, he gave a kidney to a woman he didn’t know who lived half a country away.

Kidney Transplant Proposal Would Give an Edge to Younger Patients
Los Angeles Times, February 25, 2011
The organization that oversees the allocation of transplants has proposed changes that would favor giving the highest quality organs to younger, healthier people.

Knowing When to Pop the Question
The Baltimore Sun, February 12, 2011
Some well-known Marylanders share how they decided it was time to get married, featuring Dr. Robert Montgomery and his wife, opera star Denyce Graves.

Rare HIV Transmission Changed Transplant Practice
MSNBC – January 17, 2011
Study shows that afterward, some surgeons limited use of organs from high-risk donors.

Donor Kidneys Travel Safely, Study Finds
US News Health – January 18, 2011
Researchers have found that organs function equally well whether shipped cross-country or from same hospital.

Transplant Funding Cuts in Arizona
CNN – January 8, 2011
Arizona cuts Medicaid funding or certain transplant procedures.