ASHI News Room
The American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) is a not-for-profit association of clinical and research professionals including immunologists, geneticists, molecular biologists, transplant physicians and surgeons, pathologists and technologists. As a professional society involved in histocompatibility, immunogenetics and transplantation, ASHI is dedicated to advancing the science and application of histocompatibility and immunogenetics; providing a forum for the exchange of information; and advocating the highest standards of laboratory testing in the interest of optimal patient care. If you would like to receive ASHI press releases regularly via email, please subscribe by writing to .
Media Contact: Communications Manager
ASHI response to the OPTN/UNOS Proposals for Public Comment
The proposed changes in OPTN/UNOS policies currently out for public comment include two proposals that will affect your laboratories' testing procedures (see links to those proposals below). The Organ Transplant section of ASHI's National Clinical Affairs Committee prepared "official" ASHI comments about these and one of the other proposed changes. Each of you is strongly encouraged to comment as individuals on these and/or other proposed changes since all comments will be considered in the OPTN/UNOS public comment review process.
Please click here to read all of the current proposed changes and provide your own comments on these proposals.
2015 Annual Meeting Abstracts Now Available!
Preview the 2015 Annual Meeting abstracts here.
Annual Meeting Schedule at a Glance
Click here to download a copy of the ASHI Annual Meeting Schedule at a Glance.
Draft NetCord-FACT Cord Blood Standards Available for Public Comment
NetCord and FACT have published the draft sixth edition NetCord-FACT International Standards for Cord Blood Collection, Banking, and Release for Administration for review and comment by the cellular therapy community and the public at large. The Standards apply to all phases of cord blood collection, banking, and release for administration, including donor management, collection, processing, testing, cryopreservation, storage, listing, search, selection, reservation, release, and distribution to clinical programs.
Comments will be accepted through November 30, 2015.
Instructional Program Recording Announcement
“VCAs Have Arrived” Recording Available
Dod (George) Stewart Memoriam
We've just learned that longtime ASHI member, Dod Stewart, died unexpectedly on Friday, July 17th. Dod (George Dod Stewart) was known and loved by many. He participated in many of the International Histocompatibility Workshops and ran one of the best reagent serum procurement programs in the U.S. Dod over saw and managed the AFDT (SEOPF) Histocompatibility Specialist Course for over 20 years and also taught in the Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics course directed by Clara Gorodezky in Mexico City for 20 plus years - the latter course being the premier education in histocompatibility and Immunogenetics for Central and South America. Dod was active in ASHI having served on numerous committees, on the Accreditation Review Board, on Council (Board of Directors), and as the ASHI Treasurer. To view the complete obituary, click here.
Human Immunology Introduces a New Manuscript Format
Introducing a new manuscript format: Enabling access to immunogenomic population data with short population reports
The capacity to replicate the findings of a study is key to the advancement of research, and access to the data on which a study is predicated is required for true replication. Population genetic studies have long been a focus of the immunogenetic research community, but access to the primary genotype data underlying these studies has historically been limited. With the notable exception of the International HLA and Immunogenetics Workshops, it is primarily allele and haplotype frequency data that are made available upon publication for most immunogenetic population studies. However, such frequency data are the products of a prior analysis, and may reflect unreported methodological biases. Access to the primary genotype data allows independent validation and true replication of the study, and knowledge of the ambiguities associated with those genotype data maximizes the utility of population data for replication and meta-analyses.
With this issue of Human Immunology, we are introducing a new manuscript format. Structured descriptions of reference populations, populations of anthropological interest and control populations for disease studies, along with genetic data and minimal analyses, can now be submitted as Short Population Reports. Short Population Reports will be peer-reviewed, and will follow a standard format (described below), with the aim of fostering the availability and archiving of the genetic data underlying immunogenetic population studies.
HLA Powerpoint Presentations Now Available!
New modules have been developed by the Directors Affairs Committee:
Click here to view Introduction to HLA
Click here to view HLA Basics
OPTN Policy Requirements
OPTN Policy Requirements for Informed Consent & Psychosocial & Medical Evaluation for Living Donors
UNOS provided information about a new OPTN Policy Requirements for Informed Consent and Psychosocial and Medical Evaluation for Living Donors recording and learning pathway. The recording is approximately 25 minutes long and can be accessed at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/782902120732866817
After viewing the recording, access the evaluation and assessment via the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LDICPME.For those interested in receiving credit for participation, ABTC will award 0.5 Category 1 CEPTC credit. To receive credit, you must pass the assessment. The assessment may be taken more than once. If you do not wish to receive CEPTC credit, taking the assessment is not necessary.
Once you passed the assessment, your certificate will be e-mailed to you in four to six weeks. CEPTCs are available until .
The pathway is located on the OPTN website at: http://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/news/new-policy-requirements-for-living-donor-informed-consent-and-evaluations/
and Transplant Pro at: http://transplantpro.org/new-policy-requirements-living-donor-informed-consent-evaluations/.
If there are questions, please contact:
· Regional Administrator, at (804) 782-4800, for questions regarding living donor policies.
· UNet Help Desk, at (800) 978-4334 or , for technical questions.
ASHI Media and Public Relations Policy - Approved October 2014
Click here for the ASHI Media and Public Relations Policy - Approved October 2014
Kidney Allocation System (KAS) Town Hall
The Kidney Allocation System: Question and Answer Town Hall Recording Now Available
A recorded presentation of the Kidney Allocation System: Question and Answer Town Hall is now available. The recording lasts approximately 1 hour 2 minutes and can be accessed here.
As a follow-up to resources that have been provided to the community in preparation for implementation of the new kidney allocation system, a question and answer session with a panel of subject matter experts was offered to provide a venue for members to ask questions and to facilitate discussion for better understanding. The new kidney allocation system will be implemented on .
Once you have viewed the recording, click here to access a brief evaluation. It will take less than 5 minutes to complete. We appreciate your feedback.
There were no continuing education credits offered for this town hall.
UNOS requests your feedback
UNOS requests your assistance to provide interested stakeholders with the opportunity to offer feedback regarding preferences for instructional offerings.
New Recording Available from UNOS
New Recording Available: "Applying the 2013 PHS Guideline for Reducing HIV, HBV, and HCV Transmission through Organ Transplantation to Donor Evaluations"
In response to discussions at the 16th International Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics Workshop, members of the Johns Hopkins Immunogenetics Laboratory have created a website for all things related to solid phase antibody immunoassays. At http://www.immunoassays.net, you can enter into discussions about test interpretation and troubleshooting. The site provides information on the latest assays, performance of different test lots, correlations between solid phase and cell based test results, and serum treatments. There is information on bead assays, flow cytometry and ELISA as well as links to relevant publications. Please visit the website and become a member at http://www.immunoassays.net. You can become a site moderator and lead discussions.
New Instructional Resources from UNOS
New Training Module Available to Educate Professionals and Patients about Kidney Allocation Changes
The national kidney allocation system (KAS) will be changing effective December 4, 2014. UNOS’s new KAS training module is our latest available tool to help educate both transplant professionals and patients waiting for a kidney transplant about the upcoming changes.
Transplant professionals can use this module as a guide to talk to their patients about the upcoming changes and patients can also access it themselves to learn more about how the changes will impact them directly.
View module now.
Program title: Introduction to the New Kidney Allocation System
The current kidney matching system has helped tens of thousands of people get successful transplants. But there are ways it can be further improved. One issue was that some kidney recipients have not received a kidney that works as long as they may need. Another issue was that some patients must wait much longer than others for a kidney due to their blood type or their immune response to most available kidneys. The revised system’s primary goal was to make the system better without making major changes to the parts of the system that work well. The new system is expected to help more people have longer function with their transplanted kidney as well as to shorten the waiting time for some groups of kidney patients who often wait a very long time because they are hard to match with most kidneys.
After completing this training module, you will be able to:
Describe changes to the kidney allocation system
Explain how system changes will impact kidney patients registered for transplant
Locate additional resources on kidney allocation policy
Kidney patients currently registered on the kidney transplant waiting list
Kidney patients that will be registered for a kidney transplant after KAS is implemented
Visit the OPTN and Transplant Pro websites for more relevant KAS instruction and materials.
2. Transplant Program Performance Monitoring Webinar
The Sept. 23 webinar describing Bayesian method for assessing transplant program performance has been recorded and archived for later reference. The webinar provided additional information about the adoption of Bayesian methodology, compared it to previous methods of analysis, and summarized the likely impact of the new methodology on transplant programs with differing level of transplant volume.
Access webinar recording.
View webinar slides.
Visit the OPTN and Transplant Pro websites for more relevant quality-related instruction and materials.
Attention ASHI-Accredited Laboratories
Please be aware of the following CMS approved ASHI Standards that are effective October 1, 2014. The mandatory compliance date for the final rule regarding Patient Access to Test Reports is October 6, 2014.
Within the last several months, CMS published two Final Rules that affect CLIA.
1. Federal Register, Vol. 79, No. 25, CLIA Program and HIPAA Privacy Rule; Patients' Access to Test Reports; Final Rule. HIPAA covered entities must comply with the applicable requirements of this final rule by October 6, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-02-06/pdf/2014-02280.pdf
2. Federal Register, Vol. 79, No. 91, Regulatory Provisions To Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction; Part II. Effective May 12, 2014. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-05-12/pdf/2014-10687.pdf
CMS-approved laboratory accreditation programs and CLIA-exempt State licensure programs must ensure that their requirements are updated to meet the regulation changes published in the Final Rules. The Quality Assurance and Standards Committee (QAS) has been working on updates to the 2013 ASHI Standards to address these regulation changes. These updates have been submitted to CMS and have been approved. To assist you in maintaining your compliance, a crosswalk listing the applicable regulations and corresponding CMS approved ASHI Standards is provided here in Attachment A.
Human Immunology is organizing a special issue on Single-Molecule Sequencing for Histocompatibility
Human Immunology is organizing a special issue on Single-Molecule Sequencing for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics.
CMS Gets Earful on Lab Testing Pricing, Methodology
CMS Gets Earful on Lab Testing Pricing, Methodology
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Administers 28 Achievement Awards
The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) administers 28 achievement awards. These are annual awards given at the ASM's two large meetings where scientists are honored for their outstanding accomplishments in research, mentoring, education, leadership, and other practices of microbiology.
UNOS explains the basics of the new kidney allocation system
UNOS explains the basics of the new kidney allocation system and focuses on the high level changes that will be made, what kidney programs need to do to prepare for the change, and provides an FAQ and checklist.
In November 2013, the OPTN/UNOS Board of Directors approved policy to substantially revise the national kidney allocation system. The goal of this recorded webinar is to discuss fundamental changes in the kidney allocation policy and to provide OPTN members with specific information about tasks they need to complete to prepare them for implementation.
Anthony Nolan has migrated its entire transplant data to the Cloud.
This represents a significant step forward in the application of IT technology to the histocompatibility field.
Please click here for more information.
UNOS podcast on the New Kidney Allocation System available now
The podcast recording entitled, “The New Kidney Allocation System: What Referring Physicians Need to Know” is now available on the OPTN and Transplant Pro websites.
Kidney Allocation System
A focal point for UNOS this year is educating transplant and donation professionals about the changes coming to kidney allocation at the end of this year. The new kidney allocation policy was designed to improve outcomes for kidney recipients and increase the use of available kidneys. The chair of the UNOS Policy Oversight Committee recently answered questions about the upcoming changes in this interview on her hospital’s blog.
ASHI and Elsevier welcome the new Human Immunology Editor-in Chief
ASHI and Elsevier extend a warm welcome to the new Human Immunology Editor-in Chief, Dr. Steven Mack from Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute.
Kidney Paired Donation Consensus Conference abstract
A summary of the main conclusions from the March 29-30, 2012 Kidney Paired Donation Consensus Conference held in Herndon, Virginia, was recently published in the American Journal of Transplantation. Click here for the abstract.
ASHI has created an email address:
This will provide a mechanism for various government agencies to contact ASHI, however we also encourage our members to use this email address to report any government information obtained that would be of interest to ASHI members. Please feel free to forward this email address to any current government contacts you may have.
Official ruling on Vascularized Composite Allographs (VCA)
The official VCA rule will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow. Click here to read it today!
Professional Societies Offer Recommendations Regarding Interim Pricing for Molecular Tests
Professional Societies Delineate Concerns, Offer Recommendations Regarding Interim Pricing for Molecular Tests
ASHI members who are FOCIS members can join the new FOCIS Community of Practice (COP) groups
ASHI members who are FOCIS members can join the new FOCIS Community of Practice (COP) groups. FOCIS COPs are a new initiative created to give FOCIS Member Societies, like ASHI, a voice in scientific programming and to facilitate interdisciplinary cross-talk between societies.
Benefits of belonging to a COP include:
Scientific Program Participation – COP members will have the opportunity to submit sessions for consideration by the Annual Meeting Scientific Program Committee. These sessions could also be considered for Member Society Symposia at the Annual Meeting to highlight participating societies. Full descriptions of the roles and responsibilities are included in the COP membership form.
1 millionth blood stem cell transplant marks major medical milestone
The Worldwide Network for Blood and Marrow Transplantation today announced the 1 millionth blood stem cell transplant, a landmark milestone signifying great progress in transplantation science. Thanks to international collaboration among leading scientists and physicians since the first transplant by Dr. E. Donnall Thomas in 1957, the therapy – once viewed as a high-risk procedure – is now an essential and proven treatment for patients fighting blood disorders.
CPT Informational Page
ASHI is pleased to provide this CPT Informational page for the convenience and education of the HLA community. Please be aware that sometimes the links may have vendor or third party associations which ASHI neither supports nor promotes. Registration may be required for access to related articles. ASHI is not responsible for emails received from the vendor or third party.