Eliminating the need for anti rejection drugs in transplant patients

Pancreas TransplantA new study published in “Nature Communications” has brought lot of hope for transplant patients who have to take anti rejection drugs, mostly lifelong and face serious consequences due to suppressed immunity due to it, leading to serious infections and even cancer in recipients.

In the study, researchers maintained long-term survival and function of pancreatic islet transplants despite complete discontinuation of all anti-rejection drugs on day 21 after the transplant, in non human primates. This was achieved through infusion of modified donor white blood cells, into transplant recipients, one week before and one day after the transplant.

“Our study is the first that reliably and safely induces lasting immune tolerance of transplants in nonhuman primates. This makes us very hopeful that it can benefit patients in clinical trials in pancreatic islet and living-donor kidney transplantation” said senior author Bernhard Hering, Professor and Vice-Chair of Translational Medicine in the Department of Surgery at the University of Minnesota.

Pancreas Islet Transplant

“With no need for long-term anti rejection drugs, islet cell transplants could become the treatment of choice, and possibly a cure, for many type 1 diabetics, opening an entirely new era in transplantation medicine.”

The anti rejection drugs may also have side effects like hypertension, kidney toxicity, diarrhoea, etc. and may even become ineffective over a long period of time. This may lead to transplant rejection finally.

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