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Thomas Earl Starzl







                                   The Father of Transplantation





                                             (March 11th, 1926 – March 4th, 2017)



                                              arch 4th, 2017  early renal patients,     view’ to a clinical reality.
                                              (one week       hospitalised in the largest  Several years of round-
                                              before his 91st  renal transplant unit    the-clock (dog and pig)
                                              birthday)… the  worldwide at that time,   laboratory and clinical work
                                              transplant      made him also the real    made the ‘impossible’
                                   Mworld woke up             founder of renal          operation possible...the first
                                   to the sad news about the  transplantation, a merit  liver transplantation being
                                   unexpected, sudden, death  often forgotten by the    performed on March 1st,
                                   of Thomas Earl Starzl.     younger generations of    1963, the first successful
                                     His initial research and,  surgeons and nephrologists!  one in July 1967... and the
                                   mostly disappointing, clinical  Once the surgical    procedure being recognised
         Extract from article by
         Prof. Em. Jan P Lerut     experiences intuitionally led  techniques refined and the  finally in 1983 at the NIH
         Starzl Unit Abdominal     him to rapidly understand  immune rejection of the   Consensus Conference as a
         Transplantation,          that the road to successful  kidney mastered by using  valuable therapy for patients
         University Hospitals Saint-Luc,  liver transplantation  the ‘steroids plus     with end-stage liver disease.
         Université Catholique Louvain,  necessarily needed to pass  azathioprine secret’ and the  The early Denver
         Brussels, Belgium         through the (surgically    anti-lymphocytic serum    experiences related to renal
                                   simpler) model of kidney   ALG, liver transplantation  and liver transplantation
                                   transplantation. The detailed  evolved within five years  were compiled in what I
                                   clinical observations of his  from a ‘wild science fiction  would call ‘the old and new
        14                                    IKA S UPPOR T S PRING 2017
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