The University of Virginia Health System Buchanan FMT Laboratory is officially operational and appointments are being scheduled for evaluation. In July, Drs. Brian Behm (GI), Ann Hays (GI), Glynis Kolling (ID), Laurie Archbald-Pannone (GMGPC), Steve Cohn (GI), and Traci Hedrick (Surgery) received an award of $500,000 from the UVHS Buchanan program to fund the development of a fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) program at UVHS. Since then, Dr. Cirle Warren (ID), Pam Urso, RN (Endoscopy), and Toni Davis have joined the team. This program has received strong support from Jim Amato, Stephanie Baker, Eric Schmitz, and other administrative staff of the Medical Center.
Though FMT has been performed in other centers, UVHS will be the first in the area to have a program to freeze processed feces that can be used to treat patients who do not have a donor or need the treatment more urgently than allows time for donor screening.
In April 2013, the American College of Gastroenterology updated guidelines for the treatment of recurrent C. difficile infection to include consideration of fecal transplant after three recurrences. Drs. Hays and Kolling attended the FDA consensus conference on FMT at the NIH in May, after which the team decided to proceed with their plans to treat patients who have had three recurrences of C. difficile infection. Although the FDA considers the procedure to be investigational, no investigational new drug application (IND) is required.
The team is currently writing and seeking funding, as well as collaborators, for research projects that will take advantage of this new and cutting edge program and the exciting new frontier of the intestinal microbiome.
Appropriate patients may be referred for evaluation for this treatment by calling 434-924-2959 or emailing Drs. Hays, Warren, or Archbald-Pannone.