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Stem cell could increase the number of kidney transplants 2012-04-02

The study, carried out at the University of Louisville and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, involved 8 patients receiving kidney transplants alongside haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs – cells that can develop into any type of blood cell). Their transplant came from a live donor, who also underwent a procedure to draw stem cells, the building blocks of their immune system, from the blood. The transplant recipient's body was prepared using radiotherapy and chemotherapy to suppress their own immune system.


Then the transplant went ahead, with the stem cells put into their body a couple of days later. The idea is that this will prevent the body from rejecting the transplant. And the results showed, that five out of the eight patients involved in the trial managed to reduce anti-rejection drugs within a year. The researchers conclude that transplant of HSCs is a “safe, practical, and reproducible means in organ transplanataions”. It also appeared to be tolerated with no signs of GVHD or engraftment syndrome.


Although this is only early-stage research, the results of this small case series are promising and could have implications for the future of organ transplants, particularly in those cases where the donor and recipient are not matched to each other. 


Source here.