Gene Pattern May Aid in Kidney Transplants

BETHESDA, Md., May 25 (UPI) — U.S. scientists have identified a gene pattern among kidney transplant recipients who haven’t rejected their kidneys, despite stopping anti-rejection drugs.

The researchers said the finding might help identify other transplant recipients who could safely reduce or end use of immunosuppressive therapy.

The research from the Immune Tolerance Network, an international research consortium, included three lead investigators: Dr. Kenneth Newell of Emory University, Dr. Laurence Turka of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston and Vicki Seyfert-Margolis of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“The immunosuppressive therapy regimens that organ transplant recipients must endure have toxic side effects and increase the recipients’ vulnerability to infections and cancer,” said Dr. Antony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, which supported the research. “This study holds promise for identifying kidney transplant recipients who might be able to minimize or withdraw from their use of anti-rejection drugs. However, large, prospective studies will be necessary to determine if the same biomarkers identified in the current study are reliable predictors of immune tolerance.”

The findings appear in the early online edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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