CDTRP Research Services for the community

Since 2013, the CDTRP has supported research and innovation that addresses barriers within the fields of donation and transplantation, with the goal of advancing long-term health outcomes and quality of life for Canadian transplant patients. We are happy to highlight the tools and resources that CDTRP can offer to assist you and your project for the upcoming spring grant competitions.

Economic, Ethical, Legal and Social (EELS) Support

The CDTRP counts on a group of experts to examine the economic, ethical, legal and social (EELS) issues that are major components of the donation and transplant landscape, including pro-active support to inform the direction of biomedical, clinical and population health studies.

One step closer to the clinic

Do you know how to understand the legal considerations of collecting, banking, and transplantating pediatric thymus cells leftover from surgery? Or how an expensive CAR T-cell therapy affects quality of life and healthcare costs over 20 years? No, eh? Us either!

Megan Levings is using CDTRP Economic, Ethical, Legal and Social (EELS) support to answer both questions. The first time was the thymus cell issue.

“It’s usually thrown away as surgical waste,” says Megan. “But there’s a grey area around reusing that tissue. If it’s a transplant, the baby can’t give consent. If it’s cord blood, the mother gives consent.”

The answer is… yes, it’s a cliffhanger. You’ll have to read the article.

The second time was for the economic assessment when Megan applied for a grant from the Stem Cell Network, which embeds EELS assessments in the application process.

“That proposal didn’t get funded so we flipped into a CIHR Project grant,”says Megan. “It wasn’t essential to the funding criteria but we had the time and the funding from the CDTRP, and it turned out to be the icing on the cake.”

“We definitely wouldn’t have done this without the CDTRP. We know nothing about legal implications of tissue donation or economics! The work will support our arguments when we propose a consent process for the thymus and advocate to use CAR T-cells in the future.”
– Dr. Megan Levings

As more of these therapies move towards the clinic, economic assessments fill a critical gap in the literature in terms of the cost analysis to help deciders understand the business model. It’s an essential part of the package needed for a health authority to quantify the benefit.

“It’s a super-important area of research that would never get done without the CDTRP” says Megan.

If we want new therapies to reach patients, these are (some of) the issues we have to address—and there’s no better place than the CDTRP to help. We can connect researchers to EELS expertise to help you explore the issues that are relevant to your project.

To learn more on the Research Services the CDTRP can offer, visit our website.