The Decline of Pancreas Transplantation…
Pancreas transplantation is currently the only treatment option that ensures normal glucose metabolism in the long term in patients with a high risk of diabetes mellitus (DM) complications. After several years of growth in many pancreas transplant programs, numbers are declining across the United States and Europe.
In 2018, the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) initiated a collaboration with the Universitätsklinik Innsbruck to address specific pancreas transplant issues that are difficult to answer at a single center level because a large population is necessary or a rare complication or outcome is being investigated. This collaboration resulted in two publications; one manuscript on pancreas extraction times and another on recipient age matching. In the following years it became apparent that both clinical and translational research output in the field of pancreas transplantation is lagging far behind on other solid organ transplantations. Following this, several high volume pancreas transplant centers in Northwestern Europe were approached with the proposition of collaborating together in a highly motivated, enthusiastic and research question driven consortium. The result of this has been the formation of the European Pancreas Transplant Research Consortium (EPTRC).
The vision of the European Pancreas Transplant Research Consortium (EPTRC) is to create a network of enthusiastic pancreas transplant (research) centers to collaborate and bilaterally share data to answer specific research questions. The EPTRC is not an alternative to the new and existing registry initiatives but a means of doing research that transcends mere data collection/registration. Each participating center is seen as an equal partner and can initiate their own studies for which the other centers can contribute data, leading to a joint publication. The consortium aims to be financially independent by applying for European grants/subsidies to further advance pancreas transplant research and improve outcomes.
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Dr. Robert Pol
Mr. Tim Swaab