C. Burcin Taner, M.D., studies liver transplant outcomes and transplant resource utilization in order to increase the short- and long-term success rates after liver transplant and to identify efficient ways to decrease the cost of liver transplantation.
Dr. Taner also studies outcomes of liver transplantation using liver grafts from donation after cardiac death (DCD) donors. The goal of this research is to identify reasons for graft failure and increased complication rates and develop best practices to increase success rates.
- Liver transplantation outcomes. Dr. Taner focuses on identifying best surgical and medical management of patients before and after liver transplantation. As every patient's disease process is different, identifying both common methods and individual approaches unique to each patient will optimize outcome and in the long term would benefit patients and society in general. Institutional and national data are used to identify commonalities across different disease processes and treatments.
- Resource utilization in transplantation. Solid organ transplantation and care of patients with end-stage organ failure put a large burden on patients, caregivers and society in general. Identifying best practices to optimize resource utilization in care of transplant candidates and recipients is crucial in the era of scrutiny of health care costs. For this area of research, institutional and national data are used to identify best practices to increase efficiency of care provided.
- Liver transplantation using DCD donors. The large imbalance between the number of available donor liver grafts and the number of patients waiting for liver transplant has been the catalyst for identifying new donor sources. Donation after cardiac death (DCD) donors are a significant source that could be used to expand the donor pool. The reported outcomes with this type of liver graft have been inferior to the outcomes with donation after brain death liver grafts. Even though the transplant community has recognized the need to increase the number of organs to reduce the number of deaths while patients are on the waiting list, there is an overall reluctance to use DCD liver grafts. Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida, has used liver grafts from DCD donors since 1998 — representing the largest experience in the United States in using these organs successfully. This research area focuses on identifying factors related to inferior outcomes, with an overall aim to increase graft and patient survival rates. Institutional and national data are used to identify best practices.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Taner's hope is that through his research, better practices can be developed for the benefit of patients waiting for transplantation. With his work, he also aims to understand the reasons for graft failure after transplantation with the goal of developing preventative strategies to avoid second transplantations, which will also help decrease the cost of care.
- Recipient, Rising Star Award, International Liver Transplantation Society, 2012