Global Transplant Conference to Lay Groundwork for New Clinical Practice Guideline

New York, NY (September 12, 2005) - The care of kidney transplant recipients will be the focus of a global “Controversies Conference” organized by “Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes” (KDIGO), a global organization managed by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). The Conference will be held February 2 – 4 in Lisbon, Portugal. Its goal is to improve the outcomes of kidney transplants worldwide. The Conference will make general recommendations and define key questions that require a rigorous scientific process by which KDIGO will develop evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on the subject.

The Conference and KDIGO are managed by the NKF, headquartered in New York City. KDIGO is a three year old organization created to launch a global effort to improve outcomes through guidelines and their implementation.

“Thousands of kidney transplantations are performed each year, but their outcomes and the shortage of organs remain a major problem,” said Fred L. Brown, NKF Chairman. “We urgently need to help recipients live long and healthy lives with their transplanted kidneys. We can improve outcomes and reduce the need for second transplants through development and implementation of guidelines on better care.”

“The NKF Board of Directors felt so strongly about this vital issue that they are donating the money themselves to make the development of the guidelines possible,” Brown added. “We are also fortunate to have support from Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Amgen, the Dole Food Company, Transwestern Commercial Services and the Robert and Jane Cizik Foundation so that a complete program of a Controversies Conference, Guideline Development and implementation programs can be organized.”

The Conference and subsequent guideline will focus on improving the clinical management of transplant recipients. This includes post-transplant complications such as malignancy, diabetes, anemia, bone disease and cardiovascular risks. These complications threaten the recipient’s life, the survival of the graft and increase the cost of care. KDIGO’s guideline process is modeled on NKF’s successful series of guidelines on chronic kidney disease and its treatment known as KDOQI or Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative.

Co-chair of KDIGO, Dr. Garabed Eknoyan of Houston, Texas said, “We can do much better in caring for our transplanted patients. This Conference will bring together nearly 100 experts from around the world to deliberate and determine what we know, what we can do with what we know and what we still need to discover.”

Dr. Norbert Lamiere, KDIGO Co-chair announced that the Conference Co-chairs will be Dr. Francis Delmonico of Harvard Medical School and Dr. Martin Zeier of the University of Heidelberg. The Conference Steering Committee met recently in Boston to plan the organization and content of the Conference.

Guideline Development

Following the Conference, KDIGO will begin an 18 month process to empower an independent work group and three methodology centers from different parts of the world to examine the evidence and create practice guidelines recommending ways to improve outcomes. Such recommendations will focus on what practicing kidney doctors, primary care doctors and patients themselves can do to prevent the loss of an organ or threats to the life of a recipient. Outcomes can be improved through better management of cardiovascular risk, other complications and the relationship between kidney disease and the suppression of a patient’s immune system.

A previous KDIGO Controversies Conference established the principal that transplant recipients whose kidney function is compromised still have chronic kidney disease and must be treated aggressively.

“KDIGO would like to acknowledge and express appreciation to the Transplantation Society and the Global Alliance for Transplantation for their participation and input in this collaborative effort toward our shared objective of improving outcomes for kidney transplant recipients throughout the world,” said John Davis, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation.

KDIGO is a Belgian not-for-profit foundation with a forty member international Board of Directors and managed by NKF. Its mission is to improve outcomes for kidney patients worldwide through coordination, development and implementation of practice guidelines.