Researchers Uncover New Mechanisms of Kidney Transplant Rejection
Approximately half of the kidney transplants that surgeons perform today will face rejection from the patient’s immune system within 10 years. Kidney transplants are often the only option for patients facing end stage kidney disease and total renal failure. With thousands of patients on transplant lists for new kidneys, medical science is desperately seeking a way of preventing kidney transplant rejection to decrease the need.
Kidney transplant rejection occurs in two forms: acute and chronic. Acute rejection is when the body suddenly rejects the organ in a rapid progress that takes less than a year. Chronic rejection is a slow decline in function, sometimes taking several years before total rejection and failure. Up until recently, doctors considered these forms completely separate diseases. However, new research shows they are part of the same continuum.
Using gene expression techniques, the research team at the Scripps Research Institute found that kidneys experiencing acute rejection and kidneys experiencing chronic rejection expressed 80 percent of the same genes. This new discovery could lead to advances in treatment for chronic rejection, as the gene expression shows that the same immunosuppressant drugs for acute rejection could also benefit those patients.
Another benefit of the research, published in the American Journal of Transplantation, is a better method of detecting the onset of chronic rejection. In current cases, doctors can only detect kidney transplant rejection when it is too serious to treat and must sacrifice the organ. Doctors may also be able to apply the new gene expression findings to other organ transplants such as liver, heart, and lungs.
Social Security Disability Benefits May Be Available for Kidney Disease
Kidney disease and renal failure are two conditions that may qualify you for Social Security Disability Benefits. Contact the Disability Help Group to find out more about your right to claim disability benefits when you can no longer work and earn a substantial income. Call 800-800-2009 to schedule a consultation with our disability advocates!