Professor Roger Williams, CBE, Medical Director of the Foundation, together with Professor now Sir Roy Calne, was involved in the first liver transplant performed in the UK in 1968 by the Cambridge/King’s College Transplant Programme. Since then this surgery has saved thousands of lives and given many people a second chance at a happy and healthy life. The procedure is now so successful that the current 1-year patient survival rates are approximately 85-90% and 10-year survival rates are around 65-75%.
Organ donation rates are not increasing as fast as the rate of need and for those needing a transplant other options which are being increasingly explored include split liver transplantation (where a single organ is divided between two recipients) and living related liver transplantation (where a donor gives a portion of their liver to a relative who is the liver patient). Some patients with liver tumours can be treated by a different surgical procedure, namely a liver resection, in which a portion of the liver is removed with the aim of totally removing the cancer from the body and preventing its spread to other organs. Professor Williams continues his interest and involvement in this area through the Living Donor Liver Transplant Programme at The London Clinic, run jointly with King’s College Hospital, London.
The Foundation for Liver Research has supported research into the Small-for-Size Syndrome and is involved with research projects in collaboration with the surgical team at The London Clinic under Mr Satvinder Mudan, who is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Hepatology, London.