Stem cell therapy for transplants developed by Athersys Inc. may end need for long-term immunosuppressive drugs
CLEVELAND, Ohio (July 23, 2013) — One of the biggest problems facing anyone who receives an organ transplant is rejection. When the immune system, which is designed to keep us healthy, reacts to a donated organ as if it were a foreign invader and attacks, doctors have to prescribe powerful drugs to keep it in check.
Those drugs, called immunosuppressants, are a necessary evil for most transplant recipients for as long as they live. They prevent rejection, but can lead to infection, gastrointestinal disease, pancreatitis, cancer and kidney failure.
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