HealthDay: Doctors Transplant Kidneys to Children Without Need for Immune-Suppressing Drugs
By Amy Norton
Researchers have figured out a way to safely give children a donor kidney without the need for immune-suppressing drugs -- an advance they hope to expand to many more kidney transplant patients in coming years.
Reporting in the June 15 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors at Stanford University describe the first three children to be treated with the new approach. It involved giving them not only a new kidney, but a new immune system -- both donated from a parent.
All three children now have normal kidney function, and are free of the anti-rejection drugs that transplant recipients normally have to take every day for the rest of their lives.
Much research remains before the approach can be widely offered, and experts cautioned that the three children in these cases had a rare genetic condition causing their kidney disease.
"This is a great outcome for these children," said Dr. Bradley Warady, director of pediatric nephrology at Children's Mercy Kansas City, in Missouri. "But we can't extrapolate this to all children who need a kidney transplant."
That caveat made, "there's cautious optimism this could become a more widespread procedure," said Warady, who is also on the board of directors for the National Kidney Foundation.
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