Monoclonal antibodies directed against specific T-lymphocyte antigens, donor-specific blood transfusions, and cyclosporine are permitting many patients to be successfully transplanted with poorly matched kidneys, according to reports at a recent National Kidney Foundation meeting in Washington, DC.
Thus, use of these methods is further improving graft survival rates.
(Even between 1977 and 1980—before these methods came into general use—graft survival rates increased substantially. In an interview with JAMA MEDICAL NEWS, Henry Krakauer, MD, PhD, noted that rates increased from 52% to 61% at one year for cadaveric transplants and from 70% to 82% for grafts from living related donors. Krakauer, of the Genetics and Transplantation Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Md, derived his figures from various sources, including raw data from the Health Care Financing Administration.)
Because mature T lymphocytes appear to be the principal effector cells in most cases of graft rejection, eliminating or suppressing