Launch of the CINERGY Trial: linking donation and transplantation

The CINERGY Trial has now received Health Canada approval, provincial REB approvals and CIHR funding to launch the first Canadian randomized controlled trial (RCT) that links donation and transplantation research.

Lead PI Frédérick D’Aragon, co-investigators Maureen Meade and Markus Selzner, and the whole team are excited to initiate this pilot trial and are looking forward to a successful collaboration of the transplantation and donation communities.

  • The CINERGY Pilot RCT is establishing an avenue for the implementation of new innovations in organ protection that allows upstream donor interventions; strengthening a collaborative network between donor and recipient communities.
  • CINERGY opens the door to “engineering a better graft” at a whole new level, starting upstream with interventions for organs prior to organ recovery.
  • Donor intervention research is a promising path to reduce graft injury and increase the donor pool for our patients on the waiting list.

To learn more about this work, contact Project Manager Ruth Breau at

CINERGY Lay Abstract

In Canada, most life-saving transplants involve vital organs from deceased organ donors. When organs are removed from organ donors, they are transported with great care to transplant centres in other hospitals, or cities, and even distant provinces. Any interval in time in which a donated organ is preserved without blood circulation may result in organ injury. The time without blood flow can cause organ injury and the re-establishment of blood flow during transplantation may lead to severe injury, called ischemia reperfusion injury, or IR injury. IR injury threatens the viability of organ transplants in the short term, and the long term. Several treatments for transplant recipients aim to reduce the risk of IR injury.  Similarly, there are treatments for the organ, itself, before transplant, that aim to mitigate IR injury. There are no treatments, however, provided to organ donors with a view to purpose of reducing IR jury and improving the health of organ transplant recipients. The CINERGY Pilot Trial, in Ontario and Quebec, will test the feasibility of a future national study that tests a drug for administered to organ donors to reduce IR injury in organ recipients. The drug is tacrolimus, a common transplant medication that has never been provided to organ donors. However, animal studies consistently suggest that the “preconditioning” of organ donors with tacrolimus will improve transplant function.