Transplant: From Myth to Reality

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9780300099638: Transplant: From Myth to Reality

One of the most spectacular medical advances of the 20th century, organ transplantation has become a generally effective and routine treatment for patients with organ failure. In this book, a well-known expert in the fields of clinical transplantation and transplantation research traces the evolution of organ transplantation from its initial stirrings in the imaginations of the ancients to its status as accepted treatment for nearly 40,000 patients each year. Drawing often on his own first-hand experience, Dr Nicholas Tilney tells the story of the advances in organ transplantation, discusses how societal forces have driven its development, and reveals how its current success is marred by commercialism and exploitation of the less fortunate. Dr Tilney describes early transplantation attempts, the first successful kidney transplant in 1954 between identical twins, the scientific advances for suppressing the immune system, the introduction of the concept of host tolerance, research on donor matching, and the issue of donor brain death. He explores innovations in heart, lung, liver and other abdominal transplants and reflects on the attempts to make transplants between species. Finally he explains how organ transplantation has become a vast business, creating ethical and logistical conflicts about organ donations.

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From the Back Cover:

"Dr. Tilney has an eye for the fascinating details, the shocking stories, and the unexpected connection. The result is a lively and enjoyable read."-Atul Gawande, M. D., author of Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science; "In this elegantly written book, an international authority on organ transplantation presents his firsthand reflections on the development of this exciting field. The book is a timely, well developed, and unique contribution."-Marc I. Lorber, M.D., Yale University School of Medicine

About the Author:

Nicholas L. Tilney, M.D., is the Francis D. Moore Professor of Surgery, director of the Surgical Research Laboratory at Harvard Medical School, and senior surgeon and director of the Center for Transplantation Research at Brigham & Women's Hospital, where he headed the renal transplant service between 1976 and 1992. His research in transplantation biology has been continuously funded since 1974 by the NIH, and he has been the recipient of numerous awards and honours.

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