Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: David Sprott, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, tru welu

News Feed Item

Northwestern Medicine Celebrates 50 Years Performing Life-saving Organ Transplants

2014 marks 50th anniversary of the first organ transplant for Northwestern Medicine

CHICAGO, April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This April, Northwestern Medicine® will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its organ transplant program during National Donate Life Month. The program, which began with a kidney transplant on Feb. 18, 1964 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, is the longest continual provider of organ transplantation in Chicago.

"It is an honor to be able to celebrate five decades of successful transplants, not only because the of thousands of patients we have been able to help over the years, but also because of the number of innovations we continue to help pioneer," said Michael Abecassis, MD, chief of the division of organ transplantation at Northwestern Memorial and founding director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center at the Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

In the last five decades, Northwestern Medicine surgeons have been leaders in transplant innovation, performing a number of groundbreaking procedures in Illinois, including the state's first successful pancreas transplant in 1970, pancreas islet cell transplant in1996 and laparoscopic (minimally invasive) donation surgery in 1997. Northwestern Medicine' surgeons also performed the world's second pediatric dual kidney transplant in 1964.

Northwestern Medicine may also lay claim to one of the most successful kidney transplants in the world. In 1970, Mary Matson, a local business owner in Galesburg, Illinois, received a kidney transplant from a deceased donor. Most deceased donor kidney transplants need to be replaced after 10 to 15 years before a recipient's immune system eventually rejects the organ as a foreign body. Remarkably, Matson still has the same kidney she received nearly 44 years ago.

"I was so ecstatic when I was told I was going to get a kidney," said Matson, who was 31 at the time of her transplant. "Before my transplant I didn't have a lot of stamina, I wasn't able to even take a short walk. My life before and after I got my new kidney was like night and day. I was able to manage and grow my own business, travel and live a very productive life."

When organ transplantation first started in the 1950's, there were no medications that could help prevent rejection so operations were only done for patients who had an identical twin who could donate. The compatibility problem has since been greatly reduced with advances in anti-rejection medications that help control the immune system and prevent it from attacking the transplanted organ. However these medications are not perfect and can have many side effects for patients, including an increased risk for illnesses due to infection.

"For a long time the Holy Grail of transplantation has been to figure out how to create real immune tolerance for transplanted organs in patients without medication," said Abecassis, who led the team that performed the first liver transplant at Northwestern Memorial in August, 1993. "For the first time, through two clinical trials that are only available here at Northwestern, we have begun to make this a reality using cellular therapies."

One of those clinical trials, lead by Joseph Leventhal, MD, PhD, director of kidney and pancreas transplantation, uses specially engineered stem cells from kidney donors that allow an organ recipient's immune system to recognize a new kidney as its own. There are currently 19 participants in the clinical trial, 18 of whom have reached this goal. So far 12 of those 18 have been able to reduce their anti-rejection medication or stop taking it completely. This is the first clinical trial that has been successful in achieving immune tolerance for transplanted organs in patients without medication.

"With the recent breakthroughs we have achieved, we have set new goals for the future. In 10 to 15 years we want to be providing organ transplants that no longer require recipients to take life-long regimens of anti-rejection medications, and we are also currently researching methods of growing organs in the lab that would allow patients to receive transplant organs that were made using their own cells," added Abecassis.

This research is being undertaken at a critical time. The waiting list of patients who need an organ transplant has grown to nearly 125,000 since it began 30 years ago, and that number continues to increase while the availability of organs has remained flat.

On April 6, Northwestern will host an event to celebrate its 50th transplant anniversary at the Westin O'Hare hotel in Rosemont, Illinois at 11:00 a.m. The celebration will include an opportunity for patients to interact with one another and reunite with caregivers. There will also be information about Northwestern Medicine's transplant research and speakers including transplant recipients, living donors and transplant surgeons. For more information and to buy tickets, visit the event's webpage.

Those who would like to support the Northwestern Comprehensive Transplant Center and help it continue its innovative research may make a gift online. Organ recipients and family members of organ recipients may also join Transplant Village, an independent non-profit organization formed by Northwestern transplant patients to help support the Comprehensive Transplant Center.

Northwestern Medicine's Comprehensive Transplant Center is one of the largest and most successful organ transplant centers in the America, and is a leader in both living liver and kidney transplantation. Since its first transplant in 1964, Northwestern Medicine has provided new organs for more than 6,000 people and has become a pioneer in transplantation research. In order to make these critical services available to as many people as possible, Northwestern Medicine has opened satellite clinics in locations that include Peoria, Moline, Glenview and Joliet in Illinois, and Portage, Indiana. In 2006, it also created its own Hispanic Transplant Program to better address the needs of the large Hispanic patient population who call the Chicago area home.

To learn more about transplantation services and research at Northwestern Medicine, please visit the center's website or call 312-695-8900.

About Northwestern Memorial HealthCare   
Northwestern Memorial HealthCare is the parent corporation of Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital, an 894-bed academic medical center hospital and Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital, a 201-bed community hospital located in Lake Forest, Illinois. 

About Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Northwestern Memorial is one of the country's premier academic medical center hospitals and is the primary teaching hospital of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Along with its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry, the hospital has 1,705 affiliated physicians and 6,769 employees.  Northwestern Memorial is recognized for providing exemplary patient care and state-of-the art advancements in the areas of cardiovascular care; women's health; oncology; neurology and neurosurgery; solid organ and soft tissue transplants and orthopaedics.

Northwestern Memorial has nursing Magnet Status, the nation's highest recognition for patient care and nursing excellence. Northwestern Memorial ranks 6th in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report 2013-14 Honor Roll of America's Best Hospitals. The hospital is recognized in 14 of 16 clinical specialties rated by U.S. News and is No. 1 in Illinois and Chicago in U.S. News' 2013-14 state and metro rankings, respectively. For 14 years running, Northwestern Memorial has been rated among the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" guide by Working Mother magazine. The hospital is a recipient of the prestigious National Quality Health Care Award and has been chosen by Chicagoans as the Consumer Choice according to the National Research Corporation's annual survey for 15 consecutive years. 

SOURCE Northwestern Memorial Hospital

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impac...
2015 predictions circa 1970: houses anticipate our needs and adapt, city infrastructure is citizen and situation aware, office buildings identify and preprocess you. Today smart buildings have no such collective conscience, no shared set of fundamental services to identify, predict and synchronize around us. LiveSpace and M2Mi are changing that. LiveSpace Smart Environment devices deliver over the M2Mi IoT Platform real time presence, awareness and intent analytics as a service to local connecte...
High-performing enterprise Software Quality Assurance (SQA) teams validate systems that are ready for use - getting most actively involved as components integrate and form complete systems. These teams catch and report on defects, making sure the customer gets the best software possible. SQA teams have leveraged automation and virtualization to execute more thorough testing in less time - bringing Dev and Ops together, ensuring production readiness. Does the emergence of DevOps mean the end of E...
Amazon and Google have built software-defined data centers (SDDCs) that deliver massively scalable services with great efficiency. Yet, building SDDCs has proven to be a near impossibility for companies without hyper-scale resources. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, David Cauthron, CTO and Founder of NIMBOXX, highlighted how a mid-sized manufacturer of global industrial equipment bridged the gap from virtualization to software-defined services, streamlining operations and costs while connect...
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
paradigm shifts in networking, to cloud and licensure, and all the Internet of Things in between. In 2014 automation was the name of the game. In his session at DevOps Summit, Matthew Joyce, a Sales Engineer at Big Switch, will discuss why in 2015 it’s complexity reduction. Matthew Joyce, a sales engineer at Big Switch, is helping push networking into the 21st century. He is also a hacker at NYC Resistor. Previously he worked at NASA Ames Research Center with the Nebula Project (where OpenSta...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will address the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affec...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In this session, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the ...
While there are hundreds of public and private cloud hosting providers to choose from, not all clouds are created equal. If you’re seeking to host enterprise-level mission-critical applications, where Cloud Security is a primary concern, WHOA.com is setting new standards for cloud hosting, and has established itself as a major contender in the marketplace. We are constantly seeking ways to innovate and leverage state-of-the-art technologies. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Mike Rivera, Seni...
We’re entering a new era of computing technology that many are calling the Internet of Things (IoT). Machine to machine, machine to infrastructure, machine to environment, the Internet of Everything, the Internet of Intelligent Things, intelligent systems – call it what you want, but it’s happening, and its potential is huge. IoT is comprised of smart machines interacting and communicating with other machines, objects, environments and infrastructures. As a result, huge volumes of data are bein...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to DevOps Summit 2015 as Conference Chair. The 4th International DevOps Summit will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great team at ...
EMC Corporation on Tuesday announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Virtustream. When the transaction closes, Virtustream will form EMC’s new managed cloud services business. The acquisition represents a transformational element of EMC’s strategy to help customers move all applications to cloud-based IT environments. With the addition of Virtustream, EMC completes the industry’s most comprehensive hybrid cloud portfolio to support all applications, all workl...