At the University of Cincinnati, researchers have developed a way to reduce the number of antibodies in a patient’s body. This may seem counterproductive without a complete understanding of what antibodies are good (and bad) for. Just ask E. Steve Woodle, MD, a researcher at UC who is also the director of the division of transplantation at the UC College of Medicine. He’ll tell you that antibodies view transplanted organs as threats and attack the organs instead of accepting them.
Woodle will also tell you about his exciting new study that aims to reduce the amount of these types of antibodies so as to allow for more transplants that are successful. There are current commercial drugs with this goal; the most common such drug is called intravenous immunoglobulin (or IVIG for short). However, IVIG is inconsistent, and most patients don’t even react to treatment. Woodle and his team have discovered that a compound called bortezomib reliably reduces antibodies and has a large impact on kidney transplant success.
"The rejection rates were low and the chances of the patient developing a new antibody against their kidney were very low,” says Woodle in a recent UC press release. “ In addition, in some patients, antibodies remained suppressed for several months—something that has not previously been described with other approaches.’’
Woodle thinks that the treatment may be robust enough to have applications in other types of transplants. "This also may benefit 10 to 20 percent of heart and pancreas transplant candidates who often have such high levels of antibodies that transplantation is nearly impossible.” The new treatment will be evaluated by the UC Transplant Clinical Research Team later this year.
Funding for this study came from the company Millennium Pharmaceuticals, which has supported Woodle and his fellow researchers on previous such studies. If funding information for the research at UC interests you, consider reading our free University of Cincinnati Funding Stats and Vendor Show Info report, accessible here:
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