Howard M. Nathan, President and CEO, Gift of Life, heart recipient John Clyde, kidney recipient Melissa Coleman, and TPR staff member and kidney and pancreas recipient Faith Carlin, along with her husband Alex, celebrating TPR’s 25th anniversary.
PHILADELPHIA, PA— When people think about organ transplant recipients, they may consider them too sick to be able to have children. But this is not the case. Recipients of all types of organ transplants have reported successful post-transplant pregnancies to TPR over the past 25 years. To celebrate its 25 years of success, TPR hosted an educational symposium during the day and a celebratory dinner in the evening of October 21st at Gift of Life Donor Program’s headquarters in Philadelphia, PA. Hundreds of local organ transplant recipients, transplant surgeons and medical professionals joined the organization for this exciting event.
TPR, created by the late Vincent T. Armenti, MD, PhD and Michael Moritz, MD, FACS at Thomas Jefferson University, has studied the outcomes of pregnancies in female organ transplant recipients and those fathered by male transplant recipients. The valuable information collected by TPR has helped countless transplant recipients make family planning decisions over the past two decades.
Since 1991, TPR has tracked the pregnancies and births of more than 2,500 individuals, and has worked with 250 transplant centers throughout North America. These pregnancies are considered high-risk and require coordinated care among the recipient’s healthcare providers to optimize the outcome for the mother, the transplanted organ and the child.
TPR is the only pregnancy registry of its kind in the world, and its innovative research has been impactful and far reaching. Due to the demand from the international community for a program like TPR, it opened enrollment to transplant recipients worldwide in October, 2016. To date, TPR has shared its groundbreaking results with medical and transplant communities through its submission of 64 journal articles, 115 published abstracts and 196 presentations.
“TPR joined Gift of Life Institute in February, 2013 and I immediately recognized the importance of the Registry’s work. Transplant recipients are often told they shouldn’t give birth or father a child after transplant. However, more than 3,000 children have been born in North America in the 25 years since the Registry was founded. It is a valuable resource for transplant recipients who are considering parenthood after their transplant, and to the healthcare providers who counsel them.” said Theresa Daly, Director, Gift of Life Institute.
Through TPR’s research, several important discoveries were made, including medicine labeling changes and evidence supporting breastfeeding post-transplant. In October 2007, the FDA pregnancy category for an immunosuppressant, mycophenolic acid, was changed based on TPR data, which revealed higher rates of miscarriage and structural birth defects when recipients took the medication while pregnant. This critical information has helped recipients make important decisions to protect the health of their unborn child.