October 13, 2023

Stem cells from organ donor increase tolerance following transplant

Editor's Note

An 8-year-old girl in the UK has been able to live a normal life without immunosuppressants following a kidney transplant in which both the organ and stem cells came from the same donor, The Independent October 12 reports. The patient was able to stop taking immunosuppressant drugs a month after her surgical procedure.

This new form of transplant therapy reportedly leads the patient’s immune system to more readily accept the new organ, according to the researchers. In this case, the girl’s mother provided both the organ and bone marrow transplant. The researchers suggest that this new method could help prevent the need for life-long drugs typically needed to prevent the body from rejecting new organs after transplant. 

In a related study, titled "Donor-derived regulatory dendritic cell infusion modulates effector CD8+ T cell and NK cell responses after liver transplantation" and published on October 11 by Science Translational Medicine, scientists created a donor-derived regulatory dendritic cell therapy for liver transplant patients and treated 13 patients before their transplant surgeries, which yielded positive results. The findings point to the possibilities for a new organ transplant approach that may result in greater tolerance and less drug dependence. 

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