A Kidney Transplant That Lasts For A Chronic Kidney Disease Patient's Entire Life Time

Most Chronic Kidney Disease patients who are actively looking for a Kidney Transplant right now as well as those who have already received their gift of life know that a Transplanted Kidney has an expiration date. According to the University of Iowa, "On average, transplanted kidneys last between 10 and 12 years." Sadly, many fail much sooner than that, however, and now Northwestern University has identified a treatment that very well may allow a Kidney Transplant to "last as long as you need it." 

Recommended Reading: 4 Facts Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetics Must Know About Kidney Transplants and Dialysis

This exciting news comes with the understanding of the unfortunate irony that the very powerful Immunosuppressant Drugs that help ramp down (weaken) the immune system so a patient’s own body won’t reject their new foreign kidney, also largely contributes to the Donated Kidney's failure. 

Recommended Reading: Program To Offset Kidney Donor Expenses Should Boost Chronic Kidney Disease Patients' Transplants

Hence, although they perform a life-sustaining function, Immunosuppressant medications also come with a kidney- and life-threatening risk. Lead researcher, Dr. Joseph Leventhal said, “They can increase your risk of certain infections, they can increase your risk of certain cancers and they are imperfect. Over time the immune system can still react against the organ, and we see something called chronic rejection.”

Recommended Reading: Study: Longer Time on Dialysis Worsens Post-transplant Outcomes

The ultimate goal is clear: Greatly reduce or entirely eliminate the need for the toxic Anti-Rejection Drugs for Kidney Transplant Recipients. This simple change will allow more people to sustain their Kidney Transplants for longer, decrease the amount of people on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List, and reduce wait times for Chronic Kidney Disease patients who desire a Kidney Transplant. Northwestern University suggests that its new treatment can do just that. 

Recommended Reading: Removal Of Chronic Kidney Disease Patient From Kidney Transplant List Due To New Rule Changes

Researchers at the University are trying to use the patient’s own immune system regulatory cells (T-cells) to do the job in a way that would hopefully eliminate entirely or significantly the need for drug based immunosuppression. Basically, blood is drawn from a patient before transplant and then T-cells are separated out and replicated. Sixty (60) days later they are transplanted directly back into the patient.  

Recommended Reading: Breakthrough Treatment Has Proven To Eliminate Need For Immunosuppressants After Kidney Transplant

The good news is that this is not just a breakthrough in theory which is sitting on a shelf somewhere in a lab. No - Northwestern researchers have already begun phase 1 implementation into a recent transplant recipient to confirm that this treatment in fact can work. Dr. Leventhal stated, “What we hope we can do is turn the situation where it’s one kidney for the life of the individual. You get that transplant and through better control of the immune system and through avoiding the side effects of the drugs, it will give you a kidney that will last for as long as you need it.” 

Recommended Reading: Unwanted Effects of Immunosuppressants and What Kidney Transplant Patients Can Do About It

Are you excited? Join the conversation and let us know on our Facebook page by clicking on the following link (https://www.facebook.com/pages/KidneyBuzz/347471888696381). Also, for your Daily Breaking News which teaches Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetics such as yourself how to better manage your lives while giving you hope and inspiration, turn to your leading and most trusted resource - KidneyBuzz.com.

Most Popular Stories: