Experimental transplant procedure allows 3 children to live without immunosuppressive drugs


Experimental transplant procedure allows 3 children to live without immunosuppressive drugs

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Doctors seem to have figured out a way for some organ transplant recipients to avoid this lifelong immunosuppressive drugs. In new research this week, they detail how three children with a rare genetic condition were given double bone marrow and kidney transplants in hopes of avoiding immune rejection altogether. And up to three years later the offspring Patients and their new kidneys are doing well.

Organ transplants are a life-saving operation for tens of thousands of Americans each year, but they have drawbacks. First of all, the body’s immune system is trained to eliminate cells that don’t resemble their host, including those associated with a donated organ. As a result, patients are required to undergo lifelong drug use suppress their immunity well enough to keep the organs alive rejected. These drugs have many side effects, including an increased risk of infection. And often the donated organ wears out after a decade or so, largely because the immune system continues to damage it over time.

Scientists have long tried to find a permanent solution to organ rejection, but so far with limited success. But a team of researchers from Stanford Medicine now thinks they may have worked out such an approach, at least for certain patients.

your patients were was born with a rare inherited condition called Schimke’s immunoosseous dysplasia (SCOD). This state can because a variety of health problems, including dwarfism, kidney failure, and a weakened immune system. But the researchers suspected that the children’s immune systems were weakened also allowed them to effectively reprogram it to no longer treat donated cells as hostile.

To do this, they transplanted bone marrow — which contains stem cells, which are the building blocks our immune cells – together with a kidney from the same donor. Before the operation, the recipients also received immunosuppressive therapy, and the donated organs were treated to get rid of immune cells that could attack the host’s body. Thereafter, they were carefully monitored for signs of immune rejection.

The procedure appeared to work in all three patients. None experienced acute rejection. and 22 to 34 months later, they all appeared to have normal kidney and immune function with no need for anti-rejection medication. The team’s results were released Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Although remarkable, the results are obviously based on a very small sample size. Previous attempts to use a similar dual transplant technique in SCOD patients had not been successful after NBC News, although the researchers say these mistakes helped them learn how to improve their method. The children’s other SCOD-related symptoms also require ongoing management. and it will take time to know if her new kidneys will actually last longer than usual.

However, this is the latest research suggesting it is possible to permanently tame the immune system after an organ transplant. Researchers at Duke University earlier this year carried out a similar double transplant in a young boy with a weakened immune system who needed a new heart, and early data suggest his body has fully accepted the donated organ.

Perhaps the most important question is whether these dual transplants will one day allow doctors to retrain the immune system of people in general, not just those with these specific conditions. But for now, the lives of these children are expected to be far brighter than before.

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