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Medical breakthrough for sufferers of kidney failure

Published on 07/10/2011

A medical breakthrough means that private health insurance customers needing kidney transplants will have a much greater chance of their body accepting the organ.

Patients with kidney failure currently have two choices- dialysis or kidney transplant.

There are an estimated 20,000 people on dialysis in England for kidney failure, but on average transplant patients have twice their life expectancy.

Currently, patients who have received matching donor organs must take a cocktail of pills every day to stop the body from rejecting it. Left by itself the immune system would attack a new organ unless it came from an identical twin.

But scientists at Stanford University have developed a technique that allows kidney transplant patients to stop taking immunosuppressant drugs without their body rejecting the new kidney.

Their study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, targets radiation on patient’s lymph nodes to weaken their immune system. The patient is then injected with stem cells from the donor’s blood, encouraging the body to ‘welcome’ the new kidney.

'It casts a blind eye on the foreign tissue of the graft,' lead scientist Dr Samuel Strober said.

Following 30 years of research on mice, 12 patients suffering from kidney failure were given the treatment, with a 100% success rate so far.

The new technique will have fewer side effects than immunosuppressant drugs, but it does cost up to £25,000, which could be too expensive for use on the NHS.

Patients who already have health insurance could receive the new treatment on their policy. Compare health insurance policies online now to gain peace of mind about your future health.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  Medical
Medical breakthrough for sufferers of kidney failureA medical breakthrough means that private health insurance customers needing kidney transplants will have a much greater chance of their b    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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