EHLTF attend TRIE Conference in Brussels

TRIE (Transplant Research Integration in Europe) Conference in Brussels Over the last two years the TRIE initiative, supported by the EC, has mobilised stakeholders in Europe’s academic, industrial, hospital and patient communities with the aim of developing a coherent strategy for integrating transplantation research in Europe. A meeting presenting the conclusions of TRIE initiative and initiating discussions on future actions in transplantation research took place in Brussels on 3rd November with the participation of high level representatives from the EC. Recent years have shown essential advance in transplant medicines, but more research is urgently needed to improve long-term prospects of transplant patients according to scientists and patient representatives at the meeting. About 250.000 people in Europe are living with an organ transplant and every year some 15.000 kidney transplants, 5.000 liver transplants, 2.000 heart transplants, 1.000 lung transplants, as well as thousands of bone-marrow transplants are carried out. For these patients, transplantation is the only life saving therapy and the short- term prospects of most transplant patients are very good. But in the longer term many of these patients may face serious health problems. A significant number of post transplant health problems are caused by the immunosuppressive drugs patients take to prevent their immune system from attacking the donor organ. A number of known side effects of these drugs can cause problems for recipients and rejection of transplanted organs remains a major problem and challenge to those involved in transplantation. The EU is funding a number of projects designed to address these problems. The RISET (Reprogramming the Immune System for the Establishment of Tolerance) project is investigating tests and techniques that could reduce the number of immunosuppressive drugs the transplant patients need to take. The AlloStem project is working on stem-cell transplantation technologies for the treatment of leukaemia and related diseases. The XENOME (Engineering of the porcine genome for xenotransplantation in primates) project is developing genetically engineered pigs whose cells can be safely transplanted into non-human primates. The TRIE partners have already identified three priorities:

  • the identification of biomarkers which could help to define risk profiles for patients and tailor pre- and post-transplant treatments,
  • the development of novel cell-based therapies and
  • the establishment of an innovative training programme for scientists and healthcare staff involved in research on cell and organ transplantation.
  • Currently, the strategy is open for consultation by transplant patients, people on the waiting list and patient organisations. Early indications are that patients agree with the priorities identified by the project partners and are interested in being involved in future research. EHLTF attended the TRIE meeting in Brussels on 3rd November and applied to be registered as a stakeholder in this project. The EHLTF has also written to the promoters of the RISET project endorsing and supporting its work. For more information, please go to:

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