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Clinical Trial For Womb Transplant To Begin In Dallas


Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas hopes to become one of the first hospitals in the U.S. to transplant a uterus from one woman to another.

Today doctors announced a new clinical trial that will implant wombs in 10 women who either don’t have a uterus of their own, or whose uterus is not working.

Dr. Giuliano Testa, surgical chief of abdominal transplantation at Baylor, will lead the study.

“We’re very excited about this new adventure,” he says. “I think at the end it will benefit many woman who have no access to carry their pregnancies.”

Baylor will begin screening candidates next week. Nurse Kristin Posey Wallis says they’ll be looking for candidates between 20 and 35 years of age.

“We want them to be physically fit and healthy,” she says. “They need to have working ovaries, which will help us have embryos, and no major medical surgery history that would keep them from carrying a baby to term.”

Once the women have given birth to one or two children, doctors will remove the uterus so patients can stop taking anti-rejection drugs — drugs which can come with serious unwanted side effects.

A similar trial in Sweden resulted in seven womb transplants and five live births. The team at Baylor University Medical Center will apply insights of those outcomes to this study, with special input from the researchers involved in the initial effort at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg.

Lauren Silverman was the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She was also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine  Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.