On February 15, 2013 the EUROSTAM Kick Off meeting took place in the nice atmosphere of Kasteel Oud-Poelgeest in Oegstgeest close to Leiden in the Netherlands.
After an introduction by the coordinator of the project Prof. Frans Claas, all participants introduced themselves, their institute and their tasks within the EUROSTAM project.
The reason for starting up this project was the fact that only a proportion of the highly sensitized patients can be transplanted within the own organization. Patients with rare HLA phenotypes are waiting for a long time without any chance that they will receive a kidney from a crossmatch negative donor. Therefore, international collaboration between countries where the HLA phenotypes are different will enhance transplantation of this difficult transplant patient group.
The aim of the project is to perform simulation studies to check the beneficial effect of such collaboration and to perform a number of transplants in order to obtain an idea on the logistics of such an exercise. In addition, HLA has become very complicated. At the moment more than 5.000 different HLA class I alleles have been identified.
An additional aim of the project is to test whether it is possible to change from HLA allele typing to HLA epitope typing. It is to be expected that about 180 epitopes can explain the serological reactions against the more than 5.000 HLA alleles.
The third objective is to check whether the presence of donor specific endothelial cells antibodies, either complement fixing or not, has an impact on the outcome of transplants in highly sensitized patients.