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Innovative technique designed that allows transplanting kidneys without suffering adverse effects of immunosuppressants

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Those in charge of the Researchers noted that they performed the procedure on three children suffering from a rare immune disease that caused both kidney and bone marrow failure.

A team of doctors from scientific institutions of the United States announced the development of a new procedure that eliminates the need to use immunosuppressive drugs, used to minimize the chances that a transplanted kidney will be rejected by the human body’s immune system, reported this Wednesday the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The authors of the research, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, explained that The innovative technique, known as Dual Immune/Solid Organ Transplantation (DISOT), consists of previously transferring stem cells from the bone marrow of the kidney donor to the patient, in order to provide them with a genetically new immune system. Surgeons will then transplant the kidney into the person’s body.

DISOT allows patients to avoid immunosuppressant treatments, which cause adverse effects such as cancer, diabetes, infections and high blood pressure. “It is possible to safely release patients from immunosuppression for life after a kidney transplant”, said Stanford University professor Alice Bertaina.

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Researchers described the results of implementing DISOT in three children suffering from a very rare immune disease known as Schimke immunoosseous dysplasia (SIOD), which causes that the human body is more susceptible to developing virus infections, in addition to progressive kidney failure. SIOD can also cause bone marrow failure, so patients need a stem cell transplant for a healthy immune system.

Patients received stem cell and kidney transplants from their parents

Scientists described that each of the children received a stem cell transplant from one of their parents. In addition, they performed an additional process, which involved depletion of alpha-beta T cells and CD19 B cells, which meant eliminating the types of immune cells that cause graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which causes that the transplanted organs are rejected.

After recovering from the stem cell transplant, Each of the child patients had a kidney implanted from the same parent who had donated the stem cells. One of the children had an episode of GVHD involving his skin. This situation could be controlled by the administration of medications.

After the kidney transplant was performed, the doctors administered immunosuppressant medications to the first two patients for 30 days, but later they were suspended. In the case of the third patient, the immunosuppressant medication had to be discontinued, as he experienced short-term side effects, including an increase in blood sugar level.

Finally, the specialists assured that the three patients no longer show traces of SIOD, and that their kidneys are functioning normally. The transplants have been successful for at least 22 and 34 months. It is planned to apply DISOT to other types of patients, including children who have rejected kidney transplants, as well as adults with the same condition.

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