The APOLLO study aims to improve kidney transplant outcomes

As part of our mission to save lives and support donor families, LifeCenter Northwest is participating in an important national research program that aims to improve the lives of kidney transplant donors and recipients by learning more about genetic variations, namely the APOL1 gene, found in some people of African descent.

In partnership with many other organ procurement organizations, The National Institute of Health is studying all U.S. kidney transplants from African American kidney donors to determine the effect of the APOL1 gene on transplant outcomes.

The APOLLO study project seeks to collect data that may provide a more accurate assessment of the likelihood for long-term function in donor kidneys. This will improve the process of matching donor kidneys with potential recipients and optimize renal success and patient survival.

“It has been known for decades that African Americans have a higher risk for end-stage renal disease and require dialysis treatments three to four times more often than other racial and ethnic groups. In 2010, a major research discovery showed that small changes in a single gene, the APOL1 gene, contributes to this increased risk of kidney disease in African Americans. Preliminary data suggests that variation in the APOL1 gene can also impact outcomes after kidney transplantation and affect the safety of living kidney donation for the kidney recipient.”

The goal of the study is to provide future scientific data to improve the allocation of kidneys so that the life-saving impact of organ donors across the country can be maximized.

Families with a loved one enrolled in the study will receive follow-up information once the study has concluded, and our own Aftercare team will help facilitate this.

We are grateful for all the generous donor families who enrolled in this study. Not only was their loved one able to help save lives through organ donation, but they are also contributing to the advancement of organ transplantation across the United States, which will have a profound impact on many.

Click here for additional information regarding the APOLLO Study.

Click here to watch a video regarding the APOLLO Study.

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Ashlei Lind is the Donor Family Aftercare Manager joining LifeCenter Northwest in June 2015. Lind and her team provide grief and bereavement support, as well as honoring opportunities, to organ and tissue donor families throughout our region. A graduate of the University of Washington, Lind is a licensed clinical social worker, with an emphasis on grief and bereavement support for children, youth and families. Lind has a strong passion for donation and transplantation as a result of the daily demonstrations of generosity, selflessness and compassion from donors and their families.