CTA symposium programme announced

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SRMRC is hosting a symposium in October for clinicians and researchers working on some of the most complex transplants carried out in modern medicine.

Composite tissue allotransplants (CTAs) include such ground-breaking work as face and hand transplants, in which the whole structure is transplanted. These procedures offer opportunities to some patients who have lost limbs or suffered other major injuries as a result of a severe trauma.

The CTA symposium will include a talk by Professor Peter Butler, who leads the London Face Transplant Programme, which has not yet carried out a transplant but has been working extensively to prepare the systems and procedures required for such a procedure. The world’s first full face transplant was carried out in Spain in 2010, followed by a French team in July the same year. Lt Col Colin MacIver will be among the speakers at the symposium, outlining the work of the Paris team.

Also taking part in the event will be Professor Simon Kay from the Leeds Hand Transplant Programme and Professor Peter Friend from the Oxford Abdominal Wall Transplant Programme.

The symposium is being organised by the NIHR Surgical Reconstruction and Microbiology Research Centre (SRMRC), a national centre for trauma research, taking discoveries from the military frontline to improve outcomes for all patients.

Surgeon Captain Mark Midwinter, a theme lead for the SRMRC, will open the symposium and co-chair two debates on the role of the Defence Medical Service in carrying out and researching these complex and life-changing operations.

Also taking part will be Prof WP Andrew Lee from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA. Prof Lee has spent 20 years in the field of composite tissue transplantation and his programme has carried out five hand transplants.

The event takes place on October 11.

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