Northwestern Memorial Transplant Program Initiates New Study
After a transplant surgery, anti-rejection drugs for the organ recipient are a must, but with prolonged use can have serious side effects, including infections, heart disease and cancer. A team led by Joshua Miller, MD, a researcher at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, is working with Northwestern Memorial Hospital's department of organ transplantation to enroll qualifying subjects in a new research study that seeks to transplants stem cells from a kidney donor's bone marrow into the recipient, with the hope of gradually eliminating the need for anti-rejection drugs. If research proves successful, it would mean a dramatic change in the post-transplant quality of life for the transplant recipient.
Northwestern is the only center in Chicago and one of four centers nationally looking at this topic. The Feinberg School of Medicine has received a four-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to enroll 20 patients in the study, which is called "Donor Stem Cells, Campath, T/B Cell Regulation In HLA-Identical Renal Transplants."
The first subjects to participate in the study underwent kidney transplant surgery on Thursday, Jan. 10.