Belatacept (trade name Nulojix), an immunosuppressant that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011, has shown indications to "significantly" prolong the lifetime of a transplanted kidney with "few side effects." While there is no final data currently available on the extent that Belatacept increases the lifetime of transplanted kidneys, informed estimates predict a prolongation of several years compared to the current treatment regime.
With no non-specific side effects this new immunosuppressant does not induce high blood pressure, disturbances of fat metabolism or diabetes. At the same time, Belatacept is much easier to administer every four weeks through an infusion that takes approximately thirty minutes as opposed to daily tablets.
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What KidneyBuzz.com finds even more impressive is that current research is suggesting that immunosuppressant drugs will not be required by Kidney Transplant patients in the future, being replaced by a bone marrow transplant from their donor. This will prevent any defense reaction against the "foreign" kidney. Currently the required treatment has been associated with nausea and a reduction in white and red blood cells. However, initial pilot studies have shown that this method "promises success." If it is in fact successful and foreign bone marrow is able to get to the newly transplanted kidney then recipients will no longer recognize the donor organ as foreign and there will be no immune response, but Instead the recipients' body will tolerate it.
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Liscinsky, Morgan. "FDA Approves Nulojix for Kidney Transplant Patients." FDA, U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"Lifetime of Transplanted Kidneys Can Be Prolonged." Medical Xpress.
"Belatacept after a Kidney Transplant: Minor Added Benefit for Certain Patients." Medical Xpress.