I’m really excited about the prospects of this medical research study turning into a viable alternative for the life-long anti-rejection medications that have potentially serious lasting long-term side effects for organ recipients–maybe even me.
Kidney transplants involve a donor who agrees to donate one of their kidneys. In a relatively new approach aimed at reducing organ rejection, living donors in a clinical trial at Northwestern University Medical Center are also asked to also donate part of their immune system.
Kidney transplant doctors were in the news during the last week of November, twice.
In the wake of winning the 2012 Lasker Award, Sir Roy Calne was asked in a NY Times article about early attitudes towards organ transplantation. “It didn’t exist!” Dr. Calne replies. “While a medical student, I recall being presented with a young patient with kidney failure. I was told to make him as comfortable as possible because he would die in two weeks. This troubled me.”
The supply of viable kidney donations continues to lag the steadily rising demand (4%-6% per year), and medical researchers are hard at work trying to change this dynamic. Among many different studies of kidney disease and transplantation, researchers around the country are looking at ways to decrease rejection rates and increase the length of time a kidney can be in limbo before transplantation. At NYPH/Columbia, one recently announced study at their Department of Transplantation is investigating a drug called 15NP to see if it helps kidney recipients with high rejection risk when their donor is older, or if the time between donation and implantation is greater than 24 hours. Continue reading