A team of doctors from scientific institutions in the United States developed a new procedure that eliminates the need for immunosuppressive drugs, used to minimize the chances that a transplanted kidney will be rejected by the immune system of the human body, shared the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The technique, called Dual Immune/Solid Organ Transplantation (DISOT), previously transfers the bone marrow stem cells of the kidney donor to the patient, in order to provide him with a genetically new immune system. Surgeons will then transplant the kidney into the person’s body.
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DISOT allows patients to avoid treatment with immunosuppressants, which cause adverse effects such as cancer, diabetes, infections and high blood pressure. “It is possible to safely release patients from lifelong immunosuppression after kidney transplantation,” said Stanford University professor Alice Bertaina.
The experts described the results of the implementation of DISOT in three children suffering from a very rare immune disease known as Schimke’s immunoosseous dysplasia (SIOD, for its acronym in English), which makes the human body more susceptible to developing virus infections, in addition to progressive kidney failure. SIOD can also lead to bone marrow failure, which is why patients require a stem cell transplant to have an optimal immune system, RT indicates.
The patients received stem cell and kidney transplants from their parents.
The scientists found that each of the children received a stem cell transplant from one of their parents. In addition, they did an additional process, which included the reduction of alpha-beta T cells and CD19 B, which brought about the elimination of the types of immune cells that cause graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which causes transplanted organs to be 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 thanks to the administration of drugs.
After the kidney transplant was performed, doctors gave the first two patients immunosuppressive drugs for a period of 30 days, but then discontinued them. In the case of the third patient, the immunosuppressive medication had to be stopped, since she experienced short-term side effects, such as an increase in the level of sugar in the blood.
Finally, the specialists said 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. DISOT is being considered for other types of patients, including children who have rejected kidney transplants, as well as adults with the same condition.