Chief investigator: Prof Mohammed Abu Hilal
Study Coordinator: Christoph Kummerli
Without a spleen we run the risk of developing overwhelming (life-threatening) infections. Often the spleen is removed following pancreatic surgery and as a result lifelong antibiotics and vaccines are prescribed for patients.
The aim of this study is to perform re-implant part of the spleen (26% of the original volume) in patients who lose their spleen during pancreas surgery and to investigate the performance of the re-implanted spleen with the antibody response to a Salmonella Typhi vaccine. Antibodies are measured before and after vaccination and a difference in antibodies will tell us how well the implanted spleen is performing. In the long-term, the aim is to preserve the splenic function.
Patients are divided into three groups: spleen-preservation surgery (control group), splenectomy with splenic implantation (intervention group) and without (control group).
Since commencing the project the following centres have been recruiting appropriate patients:
- University Hospital Southampton, UK
- Virginia Mason, Seattle, USA
- Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy
- Birmingham University Hospital, UK
- Morriston Hospital, Swansea, UK
At the time of writing this report 28 patients have been recruited. Progress in reaching the target of 45 by October 2020 might be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, patients with low malignant cancer can now also be included.
A further update report will be provided in 6 months time. LAPR&D has committed to maintain its funding of this project despite the challenges presented by Covid-19.
Picture: Christoph Kummerli (Study Coordinator) being presented with the research grant by Charity Chairman Kelvin Davis