"This is the first study to show this dramatic improvement for desensitization," said Montgomery. "It also shows how lethal kidney disease is if you don't get a transplant."
Dr. David Butcher, a transplant nephrologist at St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, said the findings were "very exciting, with the potential to help a good number of the people who are waiting for transplant. This gives hope that they'll be able to get off dialysis much sooner."
But, the findings will need to be replicated in other transplant centers before the treatment could become more widely adopted, he said. And, surgeons must also be concerned with infections and long-term rejection rates, which weren't studied here, he added.
Learn more about kidney transplantation from the U.S. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse.
SOURCES: Robert Montgomery, M.D., director, comprehensive transplant program, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and professor, surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore; David Butcher, M.D., transplant nephrologist, St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Detroit; July 28, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine
All rights reserved