VIDEO | A girl in England will not need to take medication for the rest of her life after a kidney transplant
An eight-year-old girl has become the first patient in the UK who will not have to take immune-suppressing drugs for the rest of her life after a transplant.
Aditi Shankar, who suffers from a rare genetic disease, received a new kidney and bone marrow from her mother Divya at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). Because she had a bone marrow stem cell transplant, she can stop taking immunosuppressants a month after receiving the new organ.
Immunosuppressants are drugs that are an important and integral part of life for most people who have had a transplant because they prevent the body from rejecting the donated organ. But given that they reduce the functionality of the immune system, those who take them are at greater risk of infections and other complications.
Aditi was admitted to the hospital at the age of five when doctors discovered she had Shimke's immune-skeletal dysplasia, which affects the immune system and kidneys. This disease affects approximately one child in every three million. Adita was initially unable to receive a kidney transplant because of her underlying immune condition, said Stephen Marks, a pediatric kidney specialist at GOSH.
“We had to correct her immune deficiency, and because Aditi was able to accept her mother's bone marrow, her body felt her mother's kidney as part of her. "One month after the transplant, we were able to remove all immunosuppressants from her, which means she has no side effects from the drugs," Marks said.