Our history of innovations has been remarkable. But we never rest on our laurels. St. Michael’s clinicians and scientists are always at the forefront of new discovery.
- We collaborated on Canada’s first Paired Kidney Exchange Program: St. Michael’s helped solve the problem of incompatible donors and recipients. This is how it works: family members and friends who wish to donate a kidney but aren’t compatible with their loved one are matched with another donor-recipient pair with the same problem. A “swap” is made so that each recipient gets a kidney. Before this program, 20 per cent of living donors were excluded because they didn’t match the intended recipient.
- We are North America’s only centre to use Glycosorb®: We are the only transplant centre in North America to offer blood-type-incompatible transplants with Glycosorb®, a technology that enables patients to accept a kidney from a donor with a different blood type. It’s a miraculous option because more than one-third of people willing to donate a kidney are turned down because their blood types don't match the recipients'.
- We were first to use minimally invasive transplant surgery: St. Michael’s was the first transplant program in Ontario to utilize minimally invasive surgery on living kidney donors. Smaller incisions mean less trauma, less scarring, less pain and reduced recovery time.
- We have North America’s most ethnically diverse transplant population: We are home to the most diverse kidney transplant population in North America. We were the first in the world to discover that South Asians experience a higher risk of cardiac events following a transplant, resulting in a change of protocols for this population. And we have a robust international program that has brought living donors from 81 countries. In one case, it took us a mere 21 days to bring a donor from overseas and perform the transplant on our patient here in Canada.
- We conducted the most extensive clinical research in Canada on a new drug formulation: Tacrolimus is an anti-rejection medication essential for transplant patients. As a result of our work, once-daily tacrolimus has been helping kidney transplant patients since 2005.
- We are conducting the world’s largest clinical trial on dialysis start times: The trial STARRT-AKI will determine the optimal time for those with acute kidney injury, a patient group with a high mortality rate, to begin dialysis. St. Michael’s nephrologist Dr. Ron Wald is co-leading the international trial which includes almost 3,000 patients in 14 different countries. The trial will conclude in mid-2019.