A kidney transplant patient’s own stem cells could replace anti-rejection medications, a new study suggests. Six months after a kidney transplant, only around 8% of people given their own mesenchymal stem cells faced organ rejection compared with 22% of people on standard anti-rejection drugs.
“Mesenchymal stem cells are stem cells that can be differentiated into a variety of cells,” explained author of the study Dr Camillo Ricordi, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “If you infuse mesenchymal stem cells at the time of the transplant, you could replace the use of powerful anti-rejection drugs, and maybe replace immunosuppressants altogether,” he said.
Results of the study appeared in the the Journal of the American Medical Association. The technique could be used in the transplantation of islet cells (in the pancreas) for people with type 1 diabetes, and for other organ transplants, such as the liver. ~ US News, Mar 20