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Cultured T Cells Reduce Transplant Rejection

By culturing a patient’s T cells with the drug cilostamide plus the tissue being donated, researchers at Oxford University in Britain were able to control transplant rejection in mice with an immune system that is similar to people. While organ transplant has been a major scientific advancement, most people have to take powerful drugs called immunosuppressants to prevent their immune system from rejecting the donor tissue. These drugs have many side effects and taken for life. A drug normally used to treat vascular problems, cilostamide encourages the T cells to differentiate into regulatory T cells which stop rejection. Patients who receive an organ from a living relative or friend will be the first ones placed in human clinical trials which researchers predict are 3 to 5 years away.

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