Stem Cells Shine Where Other Transplant Drugs Fail

Dr. Jeffrey Auletta says stem cells should become a staple in organ transplants.
1:52 | 03/06/12

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Transcript for Stem Cells Shine Where Other Transplant Drugs Fail
Went -- patient undergoes. A solid organ transplants. That organ that they receive is different than themselves. Therefore they need a certain kind of medication to be given so that they they actually don't reject the organ. That medication is called -- -- -- -- suppression and it's just like it sounds. Essentially the medication suppresses the immune system of the host but the person who received the -- -- the solid organ graft. And therefore. That a -- -- suppression actually has effects on other immune functions in the body. For example. We need immune system in order to help us fight infection so what often happens is these patients have to receive prophylaxis. Against certain kind of infections which occur after solid organ transplant. However prophylaxis is not 100% either. And certainly in intact immune system is what's needed to actually clear the infection so theoretically stem cells can be given. To not only suppress the immune cells but actually took -- repair and it did damage caused by -- graft rejection itself. So the benefit of stem cells is actually to suppress the host immune system. And two allow for healing at the solid organ transplants site. So that you don't actually get further immune activation which will cause further rejection the use of stem cells to replace immune -- -- is certainly in the future but an ultimate goal of the field if we can take away. The need to use immune suppression which has -- -- a -- setbacks in terms of causing increased risk of infection. And also other and you know much that -- facts with regards to the body for example organ dysfunction of the liver and the kidneys. And then utilize stem cells to actually replaced -- -- -- -- that the facts then we can potentially move forward. To a more universal application of solid organ transplant.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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