Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Facial Transplantation May Be a Safer Option

29.08.2007
Researchers in Cincinnati and Louisville report that immunosuppressive risks associated with facial transplantation may be lower than thought, possibly making the procedure a safer option for people who have suffered severe facial injuries.

Previous data on the immunosuppression risks involved in facial transplantation were misleading, according to Rita Alloway, PharmD, and Steve Woodle, MD, of the University of Cincinnati (UC), and a University of Louisville team led by John Barker, MD, PhD. Their findings appear in the September edition of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

The first recorded facial transplant was performed in France in 2005 on a 38-year-old woman whose nose, lips and chin had been bitten off by a dog. Tissues, muscles, arteries and veins were taken from a brain-dead donor and successfully transplanted to the patient’s lower face.

There have been only two similar attempts since.

In 2004, the British Royal College of Surgeons published a controversial report predicting a high incidence of immunological complications for facial transplants. This data became a benchmark for facial transplant teams and review boards and greatly influenced the facial transplantation debate.

According to Woodle, however, the report did not provide the best risk assessment.

”In estimating the risks of immunosuppression for face transplant recipients, the biggest problem is comparing apples to oranges,” Woodle says. “What we have tried to do is to address the apples and oranges problem by a comprehensive and up-to-date consideration of the issue.”

Both the health status of solid organ transplant recipients and the tissue composition of the solid organs reported in the earlier studies are very different from that of face transplant recipients and their facial tissues, he says.

In the current study, the Cincinnati and Louisville researchers compared the 2004 data with that taken from clinical studies describing kidney and hand transplants using the latest immunosuppression techniques.

They found the outcomes to be very different from those in the 2004 study.

Based on kidney and hand transplantation cases, in which the same drug regimen was used, researchers found that acute, or immediate, rejection may occur in 10 to 70 percent of patients. In of all these cases, however, rejection was reversible by adjusting the immunosuppression medications.

They also found that fewer than 10 percent of patients would experience chronic rejection over five years.

“In considering the most recent and relevant data, we came to the conclusion that the expectations for face transplant recipients should be significantly better than those previously published,” Woodle says.

Coauthor Barker says that the lack of comparable “apples-to-apples” risk data in the field has led to debate over the ethics of face transplantation, which was the inspiration for Cincinnati-Louisville study.

“This risk-benefit equation is at the center of controversy over facial transplantation,” he says. “Physicians and scientists question whether the risks of life-long immunosuppression for patients justify the benefits of this new treatment.”

Cincinnati coauthor Alloway says that physicians often don’t realize how much patients will endure to gain relief.

“Surveys from transplant professionals have shown that doctors underestimate what people will do for a cure,” Alloway says. “Often, living disfigured is worse than risk associated with this sort of operation and the immunosuppressive risks that accompany it.”

Researchers hope this study will provide a solid foundation for future work with facial transplantation.

“We’re trying to meld the fields of transplantation and immunosuppression to produce maximum expertise on the subject,” Alloway continued. “We’re hoping to decrease toxicity and create a more manageable risk spectrum for surgeons and patients.”

Other coauthors on the study were Allen Furr, PhD, Joseph Banis, Jr., MD, Rachael Ashcroft, and Dalidor Vasilic, MD, from the University of Louisville as well as and Moshe Kon, MD, PhD, from the University of Utrecht, Netherlands.

Katie Pence | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>