The therapy may
provide an option for those who are "sensitized" to transplant
antigens and hence wouldn't be eligible for transplants.
For such people
tend to develop antibodies, and when a donor organ with the antigens is
transplanted, the antibodies respond, increasing the risk of rejection.
to human leukocyte antigens HLA are considered an absolute bar to a transplant
because of rejection risks, researchers said in a press release.
But Cedars-Sinai has developed a new protocol, now in trial, combining intravenous gamma
globulin and rituximab, a monoclonal antibody, that helps to desensitize highly
sensitive patients, said Dr. Stanley Jordan, director of the Division of Nephrology
and medical director of the Renal Transplant Program at Cedars-Sinai.
who are on dialysis and those who are progressing toward renal failure should
be considered for a kidney transplant," Jordan said. "However, for the
highly sensitized patient, transplantation is not an option unless
desensitization therapies are used."
Up to 30 percent of the
74,000 patients waiting for kidney transplants have such a sensitivity,
according to the study, as per the study appearing in the New England Journal
of Medicine. Kidney transplants are only attempted on about 6.5 percent of such
patients, but most remain on dialysis because the procedure is unsuccessful.
a quality-of-life perspective, as well as from the financial standpoint,
transplantation is a much better option than years of dialysis," said Dr.
Stanley C. Jordan.
Cedars is one of the few transplant centers in the nation that offers the
therapy, which means many potential candidates are denied transplants, the