Stanford Lung Transplant Outcomes Continue to Improve as Volumes Increase
As a high-volume program with excellent outcomes, the Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program at Stanford Health Care leads the nation in successful transplantation services. Stanford Medicine transplant specialists care for people with all types of advanced lung disease, from common to rare. The team specializes in transplanting high-risk candidates and treating patients who have been turned away from other centers.
Dedicated to advancing research, Stanford Health Care pioneers a wide range of studies and initiatives that improve transplant safety, survival rates, and graft success. Through their nationally recognized program, the team is working to increase accessibility to life-saving transplants.
Outcomes that exceed the national average
Stanford Health Care’s Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program continues to surpass the country’s average survival rates following lung transplantation and grafting. According to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR):
CARE AT STANFORD
Our pulmonologists, surgeons, and their teams offer expert lung transplants for people with advanced lung diseases such as COPD and cystic fibrosis.
- Stanford Health Care’s one-year patient survival rate for lung transplants is 96.86%, which is higher than the national average of 89.46%.
- Their one-year graft survival rate of 96.98% exceeds the national average of 88.80%.
- Stanford Health Care had the highest survival rate in California and the fourth highest in the nation among adult lung transplant programs.
Many factors contribute to the success of Stanford Health Care’s nationally recognized program. “Our patients benefit from our experience and expertise, as well as discoveries and innovations from our ongoing research,” said Gundeep Dhillon, MD, MPH, medical director of the Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Program. “As a team, we always focus on improving transplant safety and long-term outcomes while delivering comprehensive care and support.”
Increased volumes to serve more patients
Stanford Health Care continues to develop strategies to provide life-saving transplants to more people. Between January 2021 and December 2021, the transplant team performed a total of 65 lung and heart-lung transplants. They also performed heart, kidney, pancreas, liver, and intestinal transplants. In total, Stanford Health Care performed a record-setting 420 transplants.
“The success of that year is a reflection of our team’s dedication to our patients,” said Christine Hartley, RN, MS, administrative director of the solid organ transplant destination service line. “Against the backdrop of the pandemic, we worked together to meet our patients’ critical needs. And, at the same time, we continued our trend of excellent outcomes in graft success and patient survival.”
As one of the most active lung transplant programs in the United States, Stanford Health Care regularly performs between 50 and 60 lung transplants each year. The team also performs a quarter of all the heart-lung transplants in the nation annually — more than any other transplantation center in the U.S.
Successful solid organ transplant center
As the largest multi-organ transplant center in the United States, Stanford Health Care is skilled at performing advanced procedures that aren’t available elsewhere. Offering lung-kidney, lung-liver, and heart-kidney-liver transplants, the team leads the nation in volumes and outcomes for these complex procedures.
Stanford Health Care is the only designated Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Gold Level Center of Excellence for adults in the Bay Area. This distinction makes them uniquely qualified to deliver the highest level of care. Highlights of their successful multispecialty transplant programs include:
- Heart transplantation: Stanford Health Care has the highest transplant rate ratio in the U.S. Their post-transplant one-year survival rate is 95.07%, exceeding the national average of 91.17%.
- Kidney transplantation: Stanford Health Care’s post-transplant one-year patient survival rate is significantly better than both the expected and the U.S. survival rates. Their three-year graft survival rate continues to be better than the national one-year survival rate.
- Liver transplantation: Stanford Health Care’s one-year post-transplant survival rate of 96.32% exceeds the U.S. survival rate of 94.25%. Their waitlist mortality rate continues to be lower than the national rate.
Innovative research for improved care
Stanford Health Care has a long history of excellence in solid organ transplantation. Since Stanford physicians performed the first adult heart transplant in the U.S. in 1968, the team has continued to improve transplant success by pioneering innovative research.
In August 2022, Stanford Medicine was awarded one of eight NIH Lung Transplant Consortium Center grants in the United States. The Stanford group, along with collaborators, will study the impaired vaccination responses of lung transplant recipients. One of the most important NIH initiatives for lung transplant research in decades, this study aims to improve vaccine design and effectiveness.
Through the NIH Lung Transplant Laboratory and several multicenter clinical trials, Stanford researchers come together to improve every stage of the transplantation process. The team:
- Uses next-generation human leukocyte antigen typing to identify better donor-patient matches
- Investigates the factors that contribute to both acute and chronic lung rejection
- Focuses on early detection of graft injury using gene-expression pooling and biomarker tests
Other areas of research include immunosuppressive drugs, primary graft dysfunction, and the use of antimicrobial agents to treat respiratory infections.
Armed with findings from these studies, Stanford researchers have developed new therapeutics that have significantly improved surgery outcomes. These therapies increase the long-term survival rate and make transplants safer and more successful.
Expanded access to life-saving transplants
Stanford Health Care’s highly skilled transplant team is dedicated to making transplants available to more patients. With outreach clinics in California and Nevada, the team has extended their reach and continues to improve access to underserved communities. They plan to open outreach clinics in more locations in the future.
Stanford Medicine’s transplant team uses sophisticated technology that enables them to accept organs from a larger pool of donors. These include donors who are:
- Located farther away
- Diagnosed with certain diseases, such as hepatitis C
The team uses ex vivo lung perfusion and circulated blood and oxygen to keep donor lungs healthier and working better. This technology improves the quality of the lung, making successful transplantation a reality for more patients.
Lung transplantation at Stanford Health Care
Learn more about the successful Lung Transplantation Program at Stanford Health Care. We welcome your referrals and encourage you to contact the Physician Helpline at 1-866-742-4811.
You can also reach us by email at email@example.com or fax at 650-320-9443.
1. SRTR Program Specific Report — Stanford Health Care – Lung. Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Accessed 9/21/22.
2. SRTR Program Specific Report — Stanford Health Care – Heart-Lung. Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Accessed 9/21/22.
3. SRTR Program Specific Report — Stanford Health Care – Heart. Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Accessed 9/21/22.
4. SRTR Program Specific Report — Stanford Health Care – Kidney. Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Accessed 9/21/22.
5. SRTR Program Specific Report — Stanford Health Care – Liver. Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Accessed 9/21/22.
6. Stanford Health Care Transplant Volumes Continue to Exceed Expectations. Stanford Health Care – Now. Accessed 9/21/22.
7. Stanford Clinical Center for the NIH Lung Transplant Consortium Awarded NIH Lung Transplant Consortium Center Grant (U01). Stanford Medicine. Accessed 9/21/22.
About Stanford Health Care
Stanford Health Care seeks to heal humanity through science and compassion, one patient at a time, through its commitment to care, educate and discover. Stanford Health Care delivers clinical innovation across its inpatient services, specialty health centers, physician offices, virtual care offerings and health plan programs.
Stanford Health Care is part of Stanford Medicine, a leading academic health system that includes the Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Health Care, and Stanford Children’s Health, with Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Stanford Medicine is renowned for breakthroughs in treating cancer, heart disease, brain disorders and surgical and medical conditions. For more information, visit: www.stanfordhealthcare.org.