In standard organ transplants, recipients must take several immunosuppressive drugs for the rest of their lives to prevent the body from rejecting the organ. Stem cell transplantation performed along with the kidney transplant may help eliminate the long-term need for antirejection drugs and treatment, freeing recipients from the burden of these medications and their side effects.
Stem cell transplantation involves both the kidney donor and the kidney transplant recipient. The process uses stem cells from the donor and radiation therapy for the transplant recipient to help the recipient’s immune system accept the transplanted kidney as its own.
The kidney transplant recipient begins the stem cell transfusion process at least 90 days after the kidney transplant.
The kidney donor begins the process three weeks before the kidney donation surgery.