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A dash of marrow helps kidney transplant

New approach lessens rejection of mismatched donor organs

5:47pm, March 7, 2012

By giving kidney transplant patients a dose of donor bone marrow, researchers have for the second time enabled a majority of recipients to stop taking immune suppressants despite having received poorly matched organs.

The new study, in the March 7 Science Translational Medicine, accomplished the feat in five of eight transplant recipients who weren’t spot-on matches with their donors. The five tapered off suppressants designed to prevent organ rejection and have stayed free of the drugs for at least six months. One is nearly two years out since quitting the medicines, researchers at the University of Louisville in Kentucky and Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago report.

Previously, a team at Harvard Medical School pulled this off in mismatched kidney transplants using a different procedure. Among 10 patients, seven recipients in that study have been able to stop immune suppression for up to nine years.

For nearly everyone liv

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