|Web espaņola de trasplantes|
Florence, a major centre of renaissance art, provided an appropriate setting for this Congress, held in Fehruarv 1998, that tocused on the current 'renaissance' in immunosuppression. Renaissance art contrihuted more to medicine than the recording of morphologic ohservations; it marked a bending of studious minds to observation of the form and functions of the human organism. Physrcians ahandoned medieval symholism and mystical prejudices and made deductions hased on data gathered from man himself. Florentine Michelangelo Buonarroti, the pre-eminent sculptor, led the way, through his work in dissecting corpses.
|He familiarised himself with the hones and the muscles; his David is a
masterpiece of anatomy. Leonardo da Vinci's contribution to the understanding of modern
medicine was enormous. His Notebooks include 190 pages of observations and 750 anatomical
drawings. He deduced the circulation of blood a full century before Wiliram Harvey,
revealed the position of the abdominal organs, described the influence of age upon
anatomy, and formulated mechanical laws to replace supernatural principles. Against this
backdrop the Congress entitled 'New Dimensions in Transplantation' surveyed progress and
charted new directions in this complex field of medical science, Although clinical
transplantation is a relatively new treatment, it has been hugely successful in
transforming the lives of thousands of patrents across the world. The advent of
cyclosporin A in the early 1 980s enabled transplantation to offer a consistent and
reliable outcome for patients with organ failure. Since then continued progress has
extended the benefits of transplantation to many more people, returning them to a normal
lifestyle, work arid their families. However, even though we have come far In such a
relatively short space of time, there is still much to learn. A number of issues, needs
arid challenges face us all in clinical practice today, rocluding:
" Transplantation has hugely successfull in transforming the lives of thousands of patients "
| How can our current understanding of
immune-suppression enable us to use it optimally, in order to reduce the
incidence of acute rejection, minimise side-effects and improve the quality of life
How can we tackle chronic rejection?
What can we do to maximise the existing donor pool?
This report attempts to address some of these questions by providing highlights from the Con-gress. The full manuscnpts of the presentations discussed in this report will be published in Traiisp/aofation Proceedings in August. Finally, I must thank the sponsors of the congress, Novartis Pharma, for their help in organising the meeting in Florence. Over the past twenty years, the company has worked closely with the transplant community to address the needs of clinicians and patients.
Professor Barry Kahan
Houston, Texas, USA