UW to launch first study of cell therapy for kidney transplant complication

By David Wahlberg, Wisconsin State Journal

UW Hospital plans to launch the first study in the country of a cell therapy for a potentially serious complication of kidney transplants, the most common type of organ transplant.


Doctors will infuse donor immune cells into kidney recipients who develop severe infections of cytomegalovirus, or CMV. The virus, generally mild in most people, can become dangerous in patients whose immune systems are suppressed, such as patients who take drugs to prevent rejection of donor organs.


In kidney transplant recipients, CMV can damage the brain, lungs, gut and kidneys, said Dr. Arjang Djamali, chief of kidney medicine at UW Health. Antiviral drugs to treat the infection don’t always work and can have side effects, such as reducing blood counts and kidney function, Djamali said. Read more …