The Swiss Transplant Cohort Study (STCS)
For many patients with end-stage organ diseases, transplantation is the only option for survival and to improve quality of life. Despite many advances, transplantation has remained one of the very challenging fields in modern medicine and the success of the individual is determined by the complex interplay of biomedical, psychosocial and care-related factors. Better understanding of post-transplantation outcome and improvement of quality of care are therefore of large interest.
In 2007, investigators from different disciplines launched the Swiss Transplant Cohort Study (STCS), a multicenter study designed to follow all organ recipients in Switzerland. The STCS was built to foster novel developments in the fields of transplant infectious diseases, psychosocial factors, genetics, immunology and oncology. Further aims are reporting of long-term outcome on the national level and to allow for international benchmarking.
From May 2008 until end of 2012, 2122 transplant patients were enrolled into the STCS and more than 50 scientific projects approved.
Scientific and societal context of the research project
In Switzerland, round 300-400 solid organ transplantations are performed per year in six transplant centers. Transplantation medicine is a multidisciplinary field of highly complex and resource-intensive patient care with a high need for patient-centered research and societal transparency. The STCS has evolved as a role model of research in highly specialized medicine and unified specialists to harmonize patient care. National and international experts benefit from the bio-bank and high-quality clinical data for science and development. The reporting on patient-relevant outcomes has brought transparency into the Swiss transplant patient population and it is expected that this open information policy will additionally improve quality of care.