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23/06/2023

Vall d'Hebron receives a €20,000 donation from ANiNATH to support research in paediatric liver transplantation

ANiNATH

23/06/2023

The donation will go towards two studies aimed at improving the quality of life of paediatric liver transplant patients.

The Association of Children with Liver Transplants (Associació de Nens i Nenes amb Trasplantament Hepàtic, ANiNATH) has donated €20,000 to the Hepato-Bilio-Pancreatic Surgery (HBP) and Liver Transplantation Research Group at the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) to study the risk of liver transplant rejection in paediatric patients and to evaluate the safety and efficacy of new therapeutic formulations that improve adherence to immunosuppressive treatments.

"This grant will help us to hire a researcher who will be essential to continue developing research projects aimed at personalising treatment and improving the quality of life of paediatric liver transplant patients", says Dr. Jesús Quintero, head of the Paediatric Hepatology and Transplantation Unit at Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and principal investigator of the HBP Surgery and Liver Transplantation group at VHIR.

One of the projects of this research line is focused on finding new non-invasive strategies to assess the risk of graft rejection in paediatric liver transplant patients. The main objective of this project is to evaluate the histological findings of protocol biopsies performed at 2, 5, 10 and 15 years after liver transplantation in paediatric patients and correlate them with a battery of non-invasive markers of liver injury including a miRNA panel (miR-155-5p, miR-122-5p, miR-181a -5p, miR-148-3p).

Assessment of graft progression using non-invasive techniques will allow optimisation of biopsy indications, as well as selection of a cohort of patients with a lower risk of fibrosis/rejection who are candidates for withdrawal of immunosuppression. This is intended to improve patients' quality of life by reducing admissions, invasive procedures and treatments considered lifelong.

Non-adherence to immunosuppressive therapy is one of the most significant contributors to graft rejection in solid organ transplantation, so it is important to develop new therapeutic formulations. To this end, a new project has been developed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a new formulation of extended-release tacrolimus, one of the main immunosuppressive treatments, compared to the usual twice-daily administration. Patients may also benefit from a lower incidence of side effects.

ANiNATH

ANiNATH (Associació de Nens i Nenes amb Trasplantament Hepàtic) was founded in 2015 by families of paediatric liver transplant patients. The main objective of ANiNATH is to be close to and support families going through a similar situation, to contribute to research and to raise awareness in society about the importance of organ donation.

Since its creation, the association has collaborated in several initiatives in Vall d'Hebron with different donations, both in the field of care to improve the experience of families and in research to promote different lines of research in the field of paediatric liver transplantation.

"Research is the key to further advancing the knowledge of diagnosis and treatment in the field of paediatric liver transplantation, thus improving the quality of life of children and young people. For this reason, the ANiNATH families are firmly committed to continuing to support the researchers in the Hepato-Bilio-Pancreatic Surgery (HBP) and Liver Transplantation group at the VHIR, as we have done since our beginnings in 2015. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the research team once again for their great work", says Katia Verger, founding partner of ANiNATH.

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