[Previous Months][Date Index][Thread Index][Join - Register][Login]
[Message Prev][Message Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

[IP] Breakthrough in tx tolerance

Researchers find breakthrough in transplant tolerance

Updated: 2001-06-01 11:12:59-05


New animal research being done at the University of Alabama in Birmingham may
potentially hold answers for children with Type One diabetes and thousands of
organ donor recipients. 'Tolerance' is a process that tricks the immune system
of monkeys into accepting transplanted tissue without the need for long term
anti-rejection drugs.

Margaret Tresler, 35, has had four kidney transplants, after lupus, an
auto-immune disease, caused her own kidneys to fail. On a daily basis, she
takes three expensive anti-rejection drugs that have serious side effects.
"One of them is bone disease. I have osteoporosis and they also do some other
things, make me more susceptible to getting other infections," says Margaret.

UAB's research shows promise for people like margaret and kids like Katie
Garfinkle with Type One diabetes. The breakthrough involves a process allowing
the successful transplant of pancreatic islet cells in diabetic monkeys
without the long term need of anti-rejection drugs.

In other words, the 'transplant tolerance' process reverses diabetes in the
majority of monkeys studied over a year's time. "We've done this with a unique
combination of drugs that's given just over the first two weeks post
transplant and after that there is no further therapy and the immune system
recovers," says Dr. Judy Thomas, transplant researcher.

Researchers say it's an important first step for a better treatment for kids
with Type One diabetes. "Right now, the current accepted treatment, solid
organ transplant and islet transplants with immunosuppression are not for
children, but potentially with tolerance this could be a treatment that would
apply to children," says Dr. Mark Deierhoi, transplant surgeon.

Meanwhile, Margaret thinks about those people who are transplanted after this
research becomes reality: "They won't have to think about any long term
complications, bone disease or skin cancer, gaining weight or cost which is a
huge issue for so many people. They'll just have their transplants and
hopefully not have to think about

UAB researchers say they hope human clinical
trials will start in about two years.
for HELP or to subscribe/unsubscribe, contact: HELP@insulin-pumpers.org
send a DONATION http://www.Insulin-Pumpers.org/donate.shtml