Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation for Multiple Extremity Amputations

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01293214
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : February 10, 2011
Last Update Posted : July 20, 2018
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Simon George Talbot, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Brief Summary:
Limb transplantation surgery is the transfer of one or more limbs from a deceased human donor to a patient with single or multiple limb amputation. Hand transplantation is an innovative reconstructive procedure that has the potential to significantly improve the lives of hand amputees. The purpose of this study is to develop the best practices for multiple limb transplantation that will improve the outcomes of future limb transplant recipients.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Limb Amputation Extremity Amputation Procedure: Limb transplantation Not Applicable

Detailed Description:

Limb transplantation surgery, the transfer of the limb(s) from a deceased human donor to a patient with amputation of one or more limbss, is an experimental reconstructive procedure that has the potential to significantly improve the lives of amputees.

Limb transplantation is similar to face transplantation in that the tissues transplanted include skin, tendons, muscles, ligaments, bones and blood vessels. The transplant team at Brigham and Women's Hospital includes a wide variety of medical and surgical specialties. The team hopes to build upon the success of their first face transplantation to provide amputee patients with the significant benefits of limb transplantation.

Toward this goal, BWH is actively seeking qualified candidates for the limb transplant research study. We will be studying a small group of people to learn more about:

  • How to advance the science of limb transplantation
  • How to support and limit transplant rejection issues
  • How people do after limb transplantation

We describe limb transplant surgery as a life-giving procedure because it has the potential to dramatically improve, that is to restore, both a patient's mental and physical health and his/her ability to function and integrate in society. However, as with any other type of organ transplantation, this improvement will require the patient to make a lifetime commitment to taking medications that suppress the body's immune system.

Conventional reconstruction methods are always considered first, but they may provide less than optimal results for certain patients. There are many sophisticated prostheses that satisfactorily replace the basic function of a missing limb. However, replacing limbs (in whole or in part) with prosthetics remains suboptimal in that prostheses do not provide sensation and do not have a natural appearance. Limbtransplant surgery, however, has the potential to deliver these desired functional and aesthetic benefits. Functionally, limb transplant surgery can provide a patient with new limbs that, after extensive rehabilitation, allow him/her to perform daily activities and, in most cases, return to work. Furthermore, the ability to restore a near-normal aesthetic appearance of the limb(s) can lead to tremendous psychological benefits, including elevated confidence and mood.

From the time we begin our search for a qualified limb transplant recipient to the continuing care we provide following surgery, a significant amount of time, expertise and attentiveness is contributed toward making the procedure a progressive success. Limb transplant candidates go through an extensive screening process that is likely to last several months. This screening includes a psychiatric and social support evaluation and a series of imaging tests to help determine a patient's physical and mental readiness for the procedure. If, upon completion of the screening process, it is determined that a patient is a suitable candidate, we will place the patient on a transplant waiting list. We will then begin working with the New England Organ Bank (NEOB) team to find a donor who matches the recipient's tissue requirements - for example similar age and correct blood type. This search could take many months, and, if a suitable donor is not found within one year, we will speak with the patient to determine whether he/she is willing to continue waiting.

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 10 participants
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation for Multiple Extremity Amputations
Actual Study Start Date : February 2010
Estimated Primary Completion Date : December 2020
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2020

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Transplantation
Subjects will undergo single or multiple limb transplantation
Procedure: Limb transplantation
Other Name: vascularized composite allotransplantation

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Outcomes of limb transplantation [ Time Frame: Subjects will be followed for 18 months after transplantation ]
    We will undertake an objective evaluation of the results of limb transplantation in an "outcome-oriented" study

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Efficacy and optimization of the immune suppression protocol [ Time Frame: 18 months ]
    We will evaluate the risks of rejection or likelihood of tolerance induction by measuring specific parameters in the blood or tissue, including: Serum alloantibodies concentration, numbers/phenotype of specific T cell alloreactivity in the peripheral blood, phenotypic characterization of graft infiltrating cells and local gene expression of cells and cytokines.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age between 18 and 60 years.
  • Single dominant hand or multiple limb amputation.
  • Time elapsed since amputation more than 6 months but less than 15 years.
  • Patient has tried prosthesis without success.
  • Level of amputation anywhere from the wrist (or ankle) joint to just below the shoulder (or hip) joint, which should be functional.
  • Signed written informed consent.
  • Willing to complete psychological and social evaluations.
  • Willing to take immunosuppressants - drugs that help prevent rejection of the transplant - for life.
  • Willing to comply with extensive post-transplant rehabilitation for a minimum of two years.
  • Willing to return for follow-up visits as determined by the treating physician.
  • Willing to receive standard vaccinations prior to the transplant, such as influenza and hepatitis B.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Single, non-dominant hand amputees.
  • Active malignancy.
  • High risk of return of malignancy.
  • History of persistent non-compliance.
  • Findings of psychological evaluation that indicate inability to comply with physician's orders or mental instability.
  • Any diagnosis that puts the subject at risk from limb transplant surgery or life-long immune suppression.
  • Inability to ensure adequate follow-up of post-transplant care and immune suppression.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01293214

United States, Massachusetts
Brigham and Women's Hospital Recruiting
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02115
Contact: Lauren Dastoli    617-732-4288   
Principal Investigator: Simon Talbot, M.D.         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Brigham and Women's Hospital