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article imageNew investment into transplantation research in Canada

By Tim Sandle     Nov 3, 2018 in Health
Canadian politicians and health agencies have announced $3.3 million additional investment for transplantation research. The aim is to increase the availability of transplants and to raise standards to promote long-term post-operative survival.
According to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, organ and tissue transplantation (transformative treatments) are vital for the health system of a high-income country, assisting in saving the lives of Canadians with organ failure, diabetes, or blood cancers.
However, transplantation is not straightforward and there is a 50 percent transplant failure rate. Furthermore, there are significant risks in relation complications from transplant medications. After an organ transplant, a patient needs to take immunosuppressant (anti-rejection) drugs. These types of drugs help prevent the patient’s immune system from attacking (or rejecting) the donor organ. Such medications normally have to be taken for the lifetime of the transplanted organ.
A further problem is with the relatively low rates of organ and tissue donation in Canada. This means just only 33 percent of patients on a waiting list receiving a transplant.
To address these issues, John Oliver, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health, has said at that additional funding will be provided to help to increase donor rates and to research into patient protection. This announcement for $3.3 million in further funding was made at the recent Canadian Transplantation Summit.
The funding has been provided by various agencies and pharmaceutical organizations: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Astellas Pharma Canada Inc., the Canadian Liver Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Canada, the Fonds de recherche du Québec–Santé, and the Kidney Foundation of Canada. The funds will be provided to the Canadian Donation and Transplant Research Program (CDTRP).
The CDTRP is a national research program that aims to increase organ and tissue donation in Canada. Some 200 investigators, students, collaborators, patient partners and knowledge-users work for the organization at thirty locales across the country.
Commenting on the investment, John Oliver said: “I am very pleased to announce today the renewed investment of $3.3 million to continue to support the Canadian Donation and Transplant Research Program.”
He added: “This network of talented researchers, collaborators and patient partners is working to save the lives of thousands of Canadians and ensuring transplant patients receive the care they need.”
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