I’m reposting this article from the New York Times. Thanks to Teresa Thompson Sherrill for passing this on to me.
This procedure still appears to be at the experimental stage and is therefore not widely available. However, I am reminded once again that medical science continues to make progress in the world of organ transplantation. Even though there is an element of waiting in limbo while I continue on peritoneal dialysis, I have reason to believe that the outcome of a kidney transplant in the future will likely be better than that same transplant done in the past.
Here’s the article. Read it and be encouraged.
In the anguishing wait for a new kidney, tens of thousands of patients on waiting lists may never find a match because their immune systems will reject almost any transplanted organ. Now, in a large national study that experts are calling revolutionary, researchers have found a way to get them the desperately needed procedure.
In the new study, published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, doctors successfully altered patients’ immune systems to allow them to accept kidneys from incompatible donors. Significantly more of those patients were still alive after eight years than patients who had remained on waiting lists or received a kidney transplanted from a deceased donor.
The method, known as desensitization, “has the potential to save many lives,” said Dr. Jeffery Berns, a kidney specialist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and the president of the National Kidney Foundation.