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Keywords:

  • pediatric;
  • research;
  • transplantation

Abstract:  The need for evidence-based practice guidelines requires high quality, carefully controlled clinical research trials. This multidisciplinary conference attempted to: identify urgent clinical and research issues, identify obstacles to performing clinical trials, develop concepts for organ-specific and all-organ research and generate a report that would serve as a blueprint for future research initiatives. A few themes became evident. First, young children present a unique immunologic environment which may lead to tolerance, therefore, including young children in immunosuppression withdrawal and tolerance trials may increase the potential benefits of these studies. Second, adolescence poses significant barriers to successful transplantation. Non-adherence may be insufficient to explain poorer outcomes. More studies focused on identification and prevention of non-adherence, and the potential effects of puberty are required. Third, the relatively naive immune system of the child presents a unique opportunity to study primary infections and alloimmune responses. Finally, relatively small numbers of transplants performed in pediatric centers mandate multicenter collaboration. Investment in registries, tissue and DNA repositories will enhance productivity. The past decade has proven that outcomes after pediatric transplantation can be comparable to adults. The pediatric community now has the opportunity to design and complete studies that enhance outcomes for all transplant recipients.