Toronto Organ Preservation Laboratory

The Pancreas Team

Ex Vivo Perfusion of Porcine Pancreas for Islet Isolation and Transplantation: A Safety and Feasibility Study

Pancreas transplantation (PTx) is a curative treatment for patients with insulin dependent diabetes, eliminating the need for insulin therapy and controlling symptoms such as hypoglycemic unawareness. Up until recently, PTx was largely viewed as a quality of life operation, however, recent data suggests that PTx may be “life-saving”. New evidence suggests that life-years are gained with PTx; primarily by reducing the risk of long-term cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, like many fields in transplantation, the number of suitable donors limits PTx and stringent donor criteria further limits the pool of available pancreas grafts for transplantation. There have been no major advances in pancreas preservation since the development of UW solution; a cold preservation solution for static cold storage.  Allo-islet transplantation also holds some promise in potentially reducing the risk from PTx but is also limited by suitable donors and poor graft islet cell recovery and engraftment rates.Normothermic ex vivo pancreas perfusion has the potential to provide superior organ preservation, which will allow for the use of grafts that are currently declined for transplantation. In addition, preserved function during perfusion will offer the opportunity to assess the graft and to better select organs for transplantation. This study aims to test the feasibility of utilizing normothermic ex vivo machine perfusion to preserve pancreas grafts for islet cell isolation and whole graft transplantationType your paragraph here.

Pancreas Project

Laura Mazilescu & Catherine Parmentier