Northwestern Memorial Transplant Program Initiates New Study

Armen Hareyan's picture
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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.

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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.

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