Professor Toby Coates.

In partnership with charitable affiliate Kidney, Transplant & Diabetes Research Australia (KTDRA), we’re thrilled to direct $330,000 to ensure six more pancreatic islet auto-transplants can take place at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH), saving the lives of people living with severe and hereditary pancreatitis.

Since 2015, thanks to support from THRF and KTDRA, five pancreatic islet auto-transplants have already been performed at the RAH, cementing it as the only hospital in Australia that offers this procedure. The procedure involves removing the diseased pancreas, then extracting the insulin-producing islet cells from the pancreas and re-infusing these back into the liver. This procedure treats the patient’s severe pancreatitis whilst also giving them back their islet cells to reduce their risk of developing diabetes.

Director of Kidney and Islet Transplantation at the RAH, Professor Toby Coates is grateful for the funding from THRF, which will ensure himself and his team can continue performing this lifesaving procedure.

“Without this funding from THRF and support from their affiliate KTDRA the procedure would not go ahead in this country so people across Australia who suffer from hereditary pancreatitis would endure severe abdominal pain, which can lead to rare and painful cancer,” Prof Coates said.

For over 50 years THRF has been proudly supporting renal transplantation research, and in the last 10 years have supported Professor Toby Coates and his world-class team’s groundbreaking research into kidney disease and more recently islet transplantation.

To further advance their research, Prof Coates and his team now have access to a new 3D organ printer at the RAH, the first of its kind in Australia. Developed in collaboration with the University of Wollongong, this printer will allow the team to print pancreatic islets suitable to be transplanted into a patient as a treatment for their severe type 1 diabetes rather than relying on donor islets.

“Being at the forefront of research provides South Australian patients access to the very latest treatments, giving hope to those living with diabetes,” Prof Coates said.