1st Congress of ISUTx
The first international congress of ISUTx was held in Gothenburg, Sweden in September 18-19, 2017. More than 140 delegates from 26 countries participated, with representation from all continents. The day prior to the congress a precongress course “Living donation uterus transplantation” was held at Sahlgrenska University Hospital. The program of the precongress course can be seen in detail (Precongress course program). Video footages from several live donor cases in Sweden and carried out by the Swedish team of Brännström, Kvarnström and Dahm-Kähler abroad, were broadcasted and discussed. The film photographer Lennart Wiman is acknowledged for his fantastic filming through a laparoscopic camera during these long and complex surgeries.
The venue was Wallenberg Congress Centre, which is within the premises of Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. The congress gave a unique opportunity for all groups that are active in the UTx field at clinical or preclinical stages to exchange experiences, ideas, observation, results and to create common future research studies in this rapidly expanding area. The program of the ISUTx congress can be seen in detail (Scientific program).
A session on UTx research in non-human primate species gave valuable background information on how important this, as well as other animal models, have been and will be for the further development of the UTx field. During the first day of the congress emphasis was on the clinical preparation before UTx with special emphasis on neovagina surgery, reproductive medicine and psychological work-up. The ethics and regulations around UTx, also in a clinical trial setting, are complex and with variations between different countries, religions and societies. Participants from USA, Sweden and Japan presented on this topic and with a vivid discussion session at the end. The first day also gave a possibility for short presentations and updates of results from 10 centers around the world that have initiated clinical trials of uterus transplantation.
An important issue that was presented was the UTx registry. The pilot version was presented and discussed.
In the evening a congress dinner with live jazz music was held at the Museum of World Culture. Informal interactions, discussions on UTx and other issues proved to be fruitful for many delegates.
The second day opened with an important session of imaging techniques to be used during screening for UTx as well as on immunosuppression and diagnosis of rejection. Surgical details, of deceased donor UTx and live donor UTx, were then shared by the groups having experienced of each or both. Several points for development was discussed, mostly in relation to techniques for organ procurement from deceased donor and ways of shortening surgical time in live donors, especially through new ways to secure venous outflow.
The results from the initial Swedish study on obstetric outcome and long-term consequence concerning medical and psychological health of donors, recipients and partners of recipients were then communicated and discussed.
To this date only MRKH patients and hysterectomized women have been included in clinical UTx trial. New patient groups are demanding access to participation in clinical trials and in future clinical activities. The topic of possible future expansion of patients groups suitable for UTx was covered in symposium entitled “Future”. Moreover, the concept and research around bioengineered uterus was covered in a talk.
The congress ended with an ISUTX -member meeting. At this meeting the Bylaws of the society were approved and the Board of Directors was elected.