Navigation Links
2 people receive kidney transplants in pilot program using CMU software

PITTSBURGHA man in St. Louis and a woman in New Hampshire have received the first kidney transplants made possible through a new national program of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) that uses a Carnegie Mellon University computer algorithm to match transplant candidates with living donors.

Both recipients Ken Crowder of St. Louis and Kathy Niedzwiecki of Pelham, N.H. had loved ones who were willing to donate a kidney but who were medically incompatible with them. So, through a paired donation, Mr. Crowder's fiance, Rebecca Burkes, donated her kidney to Ms. Niedzwiecki and Ms. Niedzwiecki's sister-in-law, Cathy Richard of Henniker, N.H., donated her kidney to Mr. Crowder. The donor recovery and transplant operations took place Dec. 6 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H.

The matches were identified during a computer run Oct. 27 that considered 43 transplant candidates and 45 donors. It was the first match run of the OPTN pilot program, which is expected to increase the number of kidney paired-donation (KPD) transplants by creating a national pool of mismatched donor-recipient pairs. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) operates the OPTN under federal contract.

"It is gratifying to know that this pilot program has helped make these transplants possible," said Tuomas Sandholm, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon who has led the development of computer algorithms for optimizing match runs. "As the size of the pool increases, we are confident that we can significantly boost the number of patients who are able to receive kidney transplants. The more people in the pool, the higher the portion of them we can save."

"Paired donation is helping the transplant community help people who otherwise could not get a living donor transplant. We're proud to be able to coordinate these for the first time using a national network for potential matches among 77 participating transplant programs," said Charles Alexander, OPTN/UNOS president.

Alexander said the Carnegie Mellon algorithm and Sandholm's expert advice were important parts of the pilot program. "These contributions have helped us develop the program more quickly and at significantly lower cost than we could have achieved otherwise, so we can focus on saving and enhancing lives through kidney paired-donation," he explained.

Smaller, existing kidney exchanges, which take these incompatible donor-recipient pairs and match them with other donor-recipient pairs, already have increased the number of KPD transplants. In the last three years, exchanges have enabled more than 700 kidney transplants that otherwise would not have occurred. Two of those exchanges have used the Carnegie Mellon computer algorithm to match pairs.

"The goal of the pilot project is to see whether combining the data of multiple centers and networks will generate successful matches that may not be found through one individual organization," Alexander said. "The fact that these transplants occurred from the first match run suggests this will be true."

Examining all of the possible combinations of two- and three-way exchanges between the donor-recipient pairs is a massive computational task. The first algorithm that could solve this problem optimally on a nationwide scale a projected 10,000 pairs in the pool was developed in 2006 by Sandholm, Computer Science Professor Avrim Blum and then-graduate student David J. Abraham. The algorithm has since been further refined by Sandholm and Ph.D. students Pranjal Awasthi, Erik Zawadzki and John Dickerson.

The optimization problem places a huge demand on computer memory, Sandholm said. Therefore, the algorithm never writes down the entire problem in the computer's memory. It nevertheless finds an optimal solution by formulating into memory only those parts of the problem that turn out to be relevant.

Future match runs will be conducted every four to five weeks with information on potential living donors and candidates supplied by pilot participants. Each transplant program will make individual medical decisions about accepting living donors or candidates and whether they qualify for matching through the pilot program. In addition, each program must document that potential living donors have undergone a rigorous medical screening and have provided detailed informed consent for donation and for potential participation in a national match run.

The need to increase the efficiency of kidney exchanges is compelling. The demand for donor organs more than 86,000 people are now on the kidney waiting list far exceeds supply. Last year, 28,463 people received kidney transplants, with 6,609 of those kidneys coming from living donors.


Contact: Byron Spice
Carnegie Mellon University

Related medicine news :

1. 2009 H1N1 vaccine safe and induces robust immune response in people with asthma
2. Personalized molecular therapy shows promising results for people with advanced lung cancer
3. Are depressed people too clean?
4. People with a university degree fear death less than those at a lower literacy level
5. People with mental illness receive inadequate mass screening for prevention of medical conditions
6. People with sleep apnea at higher risk for aggressive heart disease
7. New spinal implant will help people with paraplegia to exercise paralyzed limbs
8. Depression linked to HIV risk among South African young people, study shows
9. Sight of Meat Puts People at Ease, Study Suggests
10. APHA 2010: Health-care reform and people with disabilities
11. Could Anger Make People Want Things More?
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, ... Elite. The attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the ... Traurig Shareholders received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to ... Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort ... quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening ... Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to ... at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic ... most beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, look naturally ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... actively feeding the Frederick area economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology ... past 2½ years that have already resulted in more than a million dollars ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  MedSource announced ... as its e-clinical software solution of choice.  This ... best possible value to their clients by offering ... The preferred relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC ... for MedSource,s full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: ... 510(k) clearance for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay ... sepsis or septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is ... a fully integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and ... with bacterial infection and PCT levels in blood can ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 , ... on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , LOCATION: ... , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , ... Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional era. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: