Hospitals from the Netherlands and China have signed a cooperation deal to develop a groundbreaking organ transplantation method and expand it worldwide.
"We'll see a new era of the 'hot' transplantation surgery," said Professor He Xiaoshun, a liver transplant surgeon from the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, southern China, which is collaborating with University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands.
Current organ transplantation usually requires a frozen environment for the storage of the donated organ which can suffer damage in the process. "So I call it the cold transplantation. It works but it's not good enough," Professor He said.
Last July, he performed the world's first organ transplantation surgery with continuous blood supply. The organ, after being taken out of the donor's body, was put in a multifunctional organ-repair device which can simulate the human body's system and supply continuous blood to the organ.
He told CGTN that the biggest advantage of this new method is that it can provide a nearly 100 percent functional organ to the recipient. "The organ stays warm in the whole process, so I call it 'hot' transplantation."
Since then, Professor He has carried out dozens of similar surgeries and his pioneering work was noticed by Professor Robert J. Porte of the University Medical Center Groningen, one of the largest organ transplantation centers in the world.
"I first heard the ischemia-free organ transplantation surgery in last December. Then I wanted to see it with my own eyes," Porte said. So he took four of his team members with him to China to learn the details of the surgery last week.
"I was very impressed with their superb skills and their flawless communications in conducting surgery," Porte said, "Now we're facing a shortage of donated organs worldwide, but the new method can help us use those suboptimal organs that cannot tolerate blood losses during the surgery. So I think this new surgery method is where the future is."
On Saturday, the two sides signed a comprehensive cooperation deal including joint scientific development, medical talent exchanges, and global promotion. The University Medical Center Groningen will send more doctors and students to Guangzhou for training and work with Professor He's team in developing a type of multifunctional organ-repair device.
Professor Porte said the new surgery method could be introduced to the Netherlands within two years.
The Netherlands and China are long-term partners in international research collaboration. The first scientific exchange was implemented over 30 years ago and in 2013, the governments of the two countries signed a deal focusing on medical care collaboration.
By Ge Yunfei