- Sean Agbor-Enoh, M.D., Ph.D. Research
APO aims develop novel approaches to detect and treat lung transplant rejection. For children and adult with advanced lung diseases, transplantation is often the only treatment. Unfortunately, half of these patients will die within 5 – 6 years after transplant because of transplant rejection. Transplant rejection is detected by analyzing a biopsy of the transplanted organ. Obtaining biopsy samples require anesthesia and is quite an invasive procedure. Additionally, biopsy has low sensitivity and usually picks up rejection at late stages when treatments options are limited and often with limited benefits. Could early detection and treatment of rejection save the transplanted organ from rejection? The focus of APO is to investigate whether early detection and treatment of rejection improves transplant survival. APO has developed an approach that picks up transplant rejection 2 – 3 months before biopsy. APO is now exploring whether these novel genomic approaches risk stratify other pulmonary patients for long-term outcomes. APO is also planning a clinical trial to assess whether early detection and treatment of rejection improves survival in lung transplant patients and also engaged in additional studies to understand molecular mechanisms of transplant rejection.