The Eurotransplant Annual Meeting on September 24 and 25, 2020 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This also means that the yearly Assembly will not take place this year. Currently we are preparing an alternative for the voting for members A of the Council of Medicine, which is normally part of the Assembly. The delegates will be informed about the procedure. Abstract submission for the Jon Van Rood Award 2020 is unfortunately not possible. The Jon van Rood award will be granted again next year.
Although September 2020 looks still far away, it is difficult to predict when the situation will return to normal and what the possible consequences of this pandemic will be.
The Board of Management considers it not appropriate to proceed with the organization of the Annual Meeting, because of the huge effort and costs involved in the preparations of a scientific and accredited program. At present, worldwide many meetings and events taking place between now and September are being cancelled.
As the title of the Eurotransplant jubilee book states, ‘Together on a life-saving mission’, we follow the extended and increased measures taken by national authorities in controlling global spread of COVID-19. The recent situation regarding COVID-19 affects organ donation. All Eurotransplant countries have implemented preventive screenings policies for potential organ donors. For additional information, we kindly refer you to the newsitem on the Eurotransplant public website.
In the meantime, we will investigate the possibilities for organizing a meeting in the first half of 2021.
The Eurotransplant Board of Management regrets the decision to cancel the meeting and wishes all health care professionals strength and good health during these difficult times.
Eurotransplant is looking back on a successful Annual Meeting which took place from October 10-11, 2019 in Sassenheim, the Netherlands. We had the pleasure of welcoming more than 300 attendees from Eurotransplant member countries as well as guest speakers from Italy, Israel, Georgia, Luxembourg, United Kingdom and the USA sharing their best practices and research.
We kindly invite you to read our Annual Meeting news update #5 which states how you can obtain your certificate of attendance. You also can watch a short video impression of the Annual Meeting.
Today Eurotransplant awarded Stijn Verleden, PhD, from KU Leuven, Belgium, with the Eurotransplant Jon van Rood Award 2019. He received this award for his research in unraveling and treating the risk factors and pathophysiological mechanisms of chronic rejection after lung transplantation. His study titled ‘Donor-specific and -nonspecific HLA antibodies and outcome post lung transplantation’ was published in the Respiratory Journal.
Award winning research
In this study, Verleden investigated the role of circulating donor specific (DSA) HLA antibodies on rejection-free and graft survival in a large cohort of lung transplant recipients. Although the role of DSA in most organ transplantations is established, its role in lung transplantation has been neglected and not comprehensively investigated in large patient cohorts. In this cohort, Verleden found 17% of patients developing DSA. He was able to demonstrate important prognostic differences in persistent versus non-persistent DSA. Where persistent DSA were associated with a shorter rejection free survival (HR 3.386) and shorter graft survival (HR 3.071), transient DSA were only associated with a shorter rejection-free survival but not graft survival.
Eurotransplant Jon van Rood Award
For the second year, Eurotransplant awarded a researcher with the ‘Eurotransplant Jon van Rood Award’. The Award is named after Eurotransplant’s Founding Father who passed away on July 21, 2017. This award of €2.500 is granted to a clinical and/or scientific researcher to pursue or continue a career in the field of organ and tissue transplantation. Nine scientific publications from young professionals from different Eurotransplant member states were submitted. An international scientific jury reviewed the publications and selected the publication by Verleden as winning paper.
The Award was handed over by Prof. Dr. Bruno Meiser, President of the Board of Eurotransplant during the Presidential Symposium at the Eurotransplant Annual Meeting. Following the award ceremony, award winner Verleden presented his paper to the audience. The Eurotransplant Annual Meeting is a two-day medical-scientific congress where professionals in organ donation, allocation and transplantation meet and discuss the latest developments and innovations in this working field.
Prof. Dr. Bruno Meiser, President of the Eurotransplant Board and Stijn Verleden, PhD