Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has developed a new therapy which will improve transplant rates as well as outcomes for patients who are waiting for transplants. The report, published in New England Journal of Medicine, said that the protocol raised the kidney rate from 10% to 80% and provide an option to patients who are sensitized to previous transplants and would not have been eligible for transplants.
Dr. Stanley Jordan, director of the Division of Nephrology and medical director of the Renal Transplant Program at Cedars-Sinai, who led the study, said, "Patients 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."
The new protocol, now in trial, combines intravenous gamma globulin and rituximab, a monoclonal antibody which helps in desensitizing patients. HLA exposure leads the body’s immune system to develop antibodies and become immune. If a donor organ is transplanted with the antigens, the chances of rejection increase greatly. Till now this was a deterrent to some transplant cases.