Transplant programs reach elite benchmarks


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In April, Christopher Vera became the 500th lung transplant patient for the UT Southwestern program.

2015 has been an important year for the UT Southwestern transplantation programs, two of which reached significant milestones in the number of procedures their specialists have performed.

Blood and Marrow Transplantation

In March, the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program team completed its 1,000th transplant, which Program Director Robert Collins, M.D., says was “momentous—not merely for that volume marker in itself, but for the high numbers in outcomes and patient satisfaction we’ve achieved along the way. Maintaining those numbers requires commitment and an extremely high level of skill.”

Certified by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy, UT Southwestern’s BMT Program is No. 1 in the region for one-year survival rates for allografts and has an exceptionally low day-100 treatment-related mortality rate (0 percent for autologous transplants and 8.5 percent for allogeneic transplants).

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Lung Transplantation

In April, Lung Transplant Program physicians performed their 500th lung transplant, joining an elite group of fewer than 25 medical centers in the nation to achieve that benchmark.

Fernando Torres, M.D., Medical Director of the Program, notes that while every transplant is a remarkable accomplishment, there is significance in reaching such a number.

“Having performed 500 lung transplants indicates a level of care that is a little different from institutions that don’t do many transplants,” he says, “mainly because large-volume centers tend to have better outcomes for patients.”

With more than 60 lung transplants each year for the past three years, the UTSW program is now among the top 10 lung transplant programs in the country, according to the United Network for Organ Transplant, the organization that manages the U.S. organ transplant system.

For a consultation or to refer a patient to the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, call 214-645-8300 during business hours and 214-645-8425 after hours; ask for the BMT attending physician on call. Dr. Collins can be paged directly at 972-229-1887.

To refer a patient to the Lung Transplant Program or to consult with a program specialist any time, call Intake Coordinator Allison Moore, RN, B.S.N., at 877-391-1528.

UT Southwestern’s Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program is part of Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center—the only NCI-designated cancer center in North Texas. In addition to treatment of hematologic malignancies, stem cell transplantation, and investigational therapy, the program offers patients and referring physicians a range of services, including:

  • An acute leukemia service
  • A chronic GVHD (graft versus host disease) clinic
  • A survivorship clinic
  • In-depth genetic and functional screening of patients with relapsed/refractory malignancies
  • Individualized molecular-targeted therapy
  • Support services
  • Participation in clinical trials