Other researchers have also been testing the use of stem cells in transplants. The March 7 issue of Science Translational Medicine reported on an attempt to transfer stem cells from the donor to the transplant recipient before transplant, in an attempt to create a hybrid immune system that would accept the new organ. Five of eight patients studied haven't needed medications to suppress their immune systems, according to the study.
Ricordi said perhaps a combination of stem cell therapies might lead to even more effective immune suppression.
Learn more about the immune-suppressing medications used after a kidney transplant from the National Kidney Foundation.
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