Immune System Drives Pregnancy Complications after Fetal Surgery in Mice
UCSF News - January 24, 2014
MacKenzie and her UCSF colleagues have shown that, in mice at least, pregnancy complications after fetal surgery are triggered by activation of the mother’s T cells – the same T cells that cause the body to reject a donor organ after transplant surgery
“Here at UCSF, the birthplace of fetal surgery, preterm labor has been described as the ‘Achilles’ heel’ of the field because it diminishes the benefit of the surgery itself,” said MacKenzie, an associate professor of surgery and director of research at the UCSF Fetal Treatment Center. “However, specific treatments have not been developed because until now, the biological triggers responsible for preterm birth have been unknown.”
If the same fetal rejection mechanism is occurring in humans, she said, “we have the ability to design specific medical treatments to prevent it – for example, by using medications that target some of the pathways involved in T cell-mediated rejection.”
The study was published online on January 15, 2014, in the Journal of Immunology and will be printed in the February 15 issue.
"Innovation in medicine is driven by need, but also by the market,"
said Dr. Michael R. Harrison, the director emeritus of the Fetal
Treatment Center and the director of the Pediatric Device
Consortium, both at the University of California, San Francisco.
"Big markets have lots of folks developing devices, but small
markets like the pediatrics market don't."
Maternal Liver Grafts More Tolerable for Children with Rare Disease
UCSF Department of Surgery - November 16, 2012
Children with a rare, life-threatening disease that is the
most common cause of neonatal liver failure - biliary atresia -
better tolerate liver transplants from their mothers than from
their fathers, according to a UCSF-led
study......"This result is exciting because it supports the
concept that trafficking of cells between the mother and the fetus
has functional significance long after the pregnancy is over," said
senior author Tippi MacKenzie, M.D.,
assistant professor of pediatric surgery at UCSF and a fetal
surgeon at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. "This is a
topic we are actively studying both in animal models and in
patients who have fetal surgery. Practically speaking, this study
may allow us to counsel families in which both the mother and
father are willing and able to be a donor."
Ronald McDonald House Charities Honor UCSF’s Michael Harrison
UCSF News - November 02, 2012
Michael R. Harrison, MD, founder and director emeritus of the
Fetal Treatment Center at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, was
recognized last week for his contributions to life-saving fetal
surgery with the Ronald McDonald House Charities Medical Award of
Magnet trial an attractive option for kids with sunken chest
Reuters - August 19, 2012
Surgeons at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in San
Francisco are using magnets to reshape the breastbones of children
who suffer from Sunken Chest Syndrome. The technique is undergoing
phase 3 clinical trials, but the doctors hope to prove that long
term magnetic force is as effective and less painful than
The Society of Clinical Trials has named
UCSF's Management of Myelomeningocele Study (MOMS), a review of
prenatal versus postnatal surgery for myelomengingocele (spina
bifida), as its Trial of the Year. The study earned
recognition as an important clinical trial that overcame
difficulties and produced remarkable results.
Magnets May Pull Kids With Sunken Chests Out Of Operating Room
NPR - July 30, 2012
A new method for repairing Pectus Exacavatum using magnets
and an external brace, developed by Michael
Harrison, a pediatric surgeon at the University of
California, San Francisco's Benioff
Children's Hospital, could provide an alternative to the
Kids With Chest Wall Deformities Get Comprehensive Care at Clinic
UCSF News - July 09, 2012
Justin is being treated at the UCSF Comprehensive Center
for Chest Wall Deformities, a new interdisciplinary pediatric
clinic at UCSF Benioff Children's
Hospital that offers a wide range of interventions
for children with all types of chest wall deformities, from common
to complex. Justin has the most common chest wall deformity called
pectus excavatum, a congenital disorder which causes the chest to
have a sunken or "caved in" appearance.
Amar Nijagal, M.D. Awarded M. Judah Folkman Memorial Award for 2nd Time
UCSF Department of Surgery, Residency Program - June 21, 2012
Dr. Amar Nijagal was awarded the M. Judah Folkman Memorial Award by the American Pediatric Surgical Association at the 2012 APSA Annual meeting for his work entitled "Fetal Intervention Triggers the Activation of Paternal Antigen-Specific Maternal T Cells." Dr. Nijagal is currently a General Surgery resident at UCSF and has worked in Dr. Tippi MacKenzie's laboratory in the UCSF Division of Pediatric Surgery for the past three years. In 2011, he was also awarded the M. Judah Folkman Memorial Award for his presentation on "The Maternal Adaptive Immune Response Against Paternal Antigens Incites Fetal Demise After Fetal Intervention". This award is bestowed annually for the most outstanding research presentation given during the APSA Annual Meeting. Dr. Eric Jelin also received this award in 2009 for his work on the "Effects of Notch4 On Lung Vascular Remodeling."
UCSF Pediatric Surgery publishes CDH patient guidebook for iPad
UCSF - May 25, 2012
UCSF Pediatric Surgery has published thier first interactive
Patient Guide iBook for the iPad. This multimedia guidebook is a
free educational resource for families who are faced with
Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). More guidebooks are being
planned as well as epub versions for other ebook readers.
The inspiration for this project is a direct result of the
generous support of the CDH research and patient education
grant provided by the Nayeli Faith Foundation.
Hanmin Lee, M.D. appointed Surgeon in Chief of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital
UCSF - May 10, 2012
Lee has been named Surgeon in Chief of the UCSF Benioff
Children's Hospital. Dr. Lee has been a champion for pediatric
surgical care in the Department of Surgery for many years. He
is a professor of Clinical Surgery, Pediatrics, and Obstetrics,
Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences and his leadership
roles include Chief of the Division of Pediatric Surgery
and Director of the UCSF Fetal Treatment
Center. In his new role as Surgeon in Chief, he will be
responsible for inpatient and ambulatory surgical care and the
continuum of preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative care
of surgical patients. He will lead the effort in building and
fostering relationships with referring physicians and organizations
in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area, and will take a
leadership role in the planning for operations in the new UCSF
Benioff Children's Hospital at Mission Bay.
Hanmin Lee, M.D. Selected as one of UCSF’s "Exceptional Physicians of 2012"
UCSF - April 17, 2012
Lee, M.D. has been selected as one of the UCSF Medical
Center's "Exceptional Physicians of 2012". Dr.
Lee is Professor, Surgery, Pediatrics, Ob-Gyn and Reproductive
Health Services, Chief of the Division of Pediatric
Surgery, Director of the UCSF Fetal Treatment Center, and
the Surgeon-in-Chief of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. This
award is given annually to physicians who have distinguished
themselves as role models and demonstrate the values
of UCSF Medical Center, namely professionalism, respect,
integrity, diversity and excellence.
Surgeons Seek Kid-Sized Tools for the Operating Room
KQED Quest - January 27, 2012
UCSF has received about a million dollars since 2009. That money
has supported the development of tools to treat scoliosis, kidney
failure and sunken chest, among other conditions. The pectus, or
sunken chest device, is in clinical trials.
Doctors call Vilma Zarate's role as an administrative analyst in
University of California, San Francisco's fetal surgery department
invaluable to both faculty and patients. For faculty, Zarate
carefully crafts grant and funding applications and coordinates
clinical trials. Patients, on the other hand, benefit from the
clear and thoughtful consent documents Zarate creates to help them
understand the risks of cutting-edge medicine.