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Research and Advances

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Seattle Children’s Hospital's Transplant Center combines expert patient care with research – the only way to discover better ways of caring for children.

Our goal is to provide your child with the best care available and the highest quality of life. Many of our patients are enrolled in research studies so that they can benefit from the most current surgical techniques, new medicines and leading-edge treatments.

Seattle Children’s is involved in three types of research:

  • Basic science, also known as bench or laboratory research, which seeks to understand the molecular basis of disease
  • Clinical research, which is research that has moved to the bedside or clinic and involves patients
  • Outcomes research, in which researchers attempt to demonstrate that a treatment or practice attains its expected effects in the general population

Researchers on our transplant team lead efforts to:

  • Improve therapies for, and eventually prevent, common post-transplantation issues, such as organ rejection and infection in patients whose immune system function is low
  • Develop new transplant surgical techniques
  • Learn more about the diseases that lead to transplant

Improving Anti-Rejection Medicines

Controlling the body’s natural response to reject a new organ is essential to the success of most transplants. However, anti-rejection medication routines can be very difficult – some children must take 60 pills a day – and the medications can have side effects that lessen a child’s quality of life.

Advancements in understanding how and why the body fights a new organ and improvements to the medication protocols have led to higher survival rates and a better quality of life after transplant.

Through clinical research studies, we are exploring new treatment protocols that avoid the use of steroids after some surgical procedures.

Learn more about specific research initiatives for the heart, intestine, kidney and liver.

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