Research Group

  • BANFF Foundation


  • Lucerne, Switzerland


  • Establishing a BANFF Foundation

Histopathological assessment of transplant biopsies is a crucial part of the care of transplant patients. The Banff Classification has provided the basis for interpreting transplant biopsies worldwide for the past two decades. The classification and the consensus process that underlies it are of central importance to transplantation research. Over 700 publications reference the Banff process and the number of publications per year is still increasing. However, the Banff process is vulnerable to disruptions because there has been no legal entity representing it over the last 21 years. We are requesting funding to create and operate a Swiss Foundation legal entity for the Banff process to give it stability, sustainability, and continuity for the future.

Since its beginning in 1991, the Banff Consensus Process has facilitated the establishment of an internationally accepted diagnostics consensus for kidney, liver, pancreas, and composite tissue allograft biopsies. It also collaborates with the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation Pathology Council in refining diagnostic classification systems for heart and lung transplant biopsies. The establishment of an internationally accepted diagnostic consensus was the essential prerequisite for conducting randomized clinical trials using biopsy-proven rejection as the primary end-point. Through such trials, the most significant anti-rejection drugs were established in transplantation, leading to significantly improved transplant and patient survival over the last two decades.

Counterbalancing the clinical successes of the Banff process are its limitations, including inherent potential for sampling error, limited reproducibility, and mostly empirical and non-biology-based diagnostic criteria. The structure being proposed in this grant application will facilitate the overcoming of these limitations by making research projects conducted by specific Banff working groups possible, with the aim of generating data that will allow for an evidence-based refinement of the Banff classification. This will ultimately further enhance clinical care and improve outcomes in organ transplant recipients.

BANFF Foundation >>
Progress Report I
Progress Report II
Final Report