Procedures bypass immunosuppressive drugs

In two separate studies doctors developed new procedures that prevented the need for a lifetime of immunosuppressive drugs to prevent the rejection of an organ transplant. At Stanford irradiation and antibody therapy was followed up by an infusion of blood cells from the brother of a patient who had donated his kidney. The recipient has gone two years without immunosuppressive drugs. And at Massachusetts General Hospital five organ recipients had their bone marrow replaced with grafts from their donors. Four of the five have been able to live with normal kidney function and no rejection for five years. Experts caution, though, that destroying a patient's bone marrow can have lethal consequences. But a new procedure that promises to do away with a regimen of drugs is likely to get considerable scrutiny.

- check out the article from the BBC