Eurotransplant is responsible for the allocation of donor organs in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Slovenia. This international collaborative framework includes all transplant hospitals, tissue-typing laboratories and hospitals where organ donations take place.
Eurotransplant is fully connected with the members of its community. The organizational structure is democratic, with a Board of Directors, a Board of management, an Assembly, a Council, eight Advisory Committees and a Working Group. At every level it is arranged that the national authorities, the national scientific transplant societies and the transplant programs in the centers have their input in the policies and practices of Eurotransplant. read more
The Eurotransplant Reference Laboratory (ETRL) has an important role in Eurotransplant's quality system. The ETRL has the aim to increase the reliability and comparibility of tests performed by HLA laboratories in the Eurotransplant member states, including testing of tissue characteristics (HLA), that are a critical factor for successfully matching donor kidney and recipient. On top of that the HLA laboratories are responsible for cross matching and screening for HLA specific antibodies in the patient's sera. The ETRL evaluates the quality of tissue-typing laboratories. read more
In 1958 Jean Dausset, a French scientist, discovered on cell walls genetic characteristics of leucocytes that differ for each individual. He described in 1965 the first group of antigens that is now known as the HLA-system (human leucocyte antigens). Research by a young physician in Leiden, Prof. Dr. Jon J. van Rood, proved that matching the HLA-type of donor and recipient had a positive effect on the outcome of transplantation. In 1967 he founded Eurotransplant. The patient oriented allocation of organs was such an improvement that the services of Eurotransplant were sought by transplant centers in the Netherlands and beyond.read more
Immunosuppressive drugs are primarily responsible for the present success of transplantation. These drugs are used to control rejection caused by antigen differences remaining after tissue typing and donor recipient matching. Successful immunosuppression began in the early sixties with the discovery of the immunosuppressive anti-cancer agent azathioprine.
read moreThis therapy was soon combined with corticosteroids to achieve an additive effect.