TRANSPLANTATION of multiple organs into the abdomen has taken off in a new direction since the failure of the experimental operations on children described in this issue of The Journal. Last month, Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh (Pa) Health Center, announced that since June, 13 adults near death from hepatic, pancreatic, or duodenal carcinoma have traded their diseased organs for a chance at life via the "organ cluster" transplant procedure he is pioneering. In mid-February, 11 patients were surviving and were apparently free of cancer.
All the operations were performed at Pittsburgh's Presbyterian-University Hospital. All but the most recent patient had returned home after receiving a new liver, pancreas, and duodenum. According to Saturo Todo, MD, the surgeon who led the team for many of the procedures, the liver, pancreas, duodenum, stomach, spleen, and right and transverse colon are resected. The superior mesentery artery