Skip to comments.Teen takes on donor's immune system
Posted on 01/25/2008 7:55:54 AM PST by TChris
A 15-year-old Australian liver transplant patient has defied modern medicine by taking on her donor's immune system.
Demi-Lee Brennan had a liver transplant after she suffered liver failure. Nine months later, doctors at Sydney's Westmead Children's Hospital were amazed to find the teenager's blood group had changed to the donor's blood type.
Further tests revealed the stem cells from the donor liver had penetrated her bone marrow.
Dr Michael Stormon says he and his colleagues were even more surprised when they found the girl's immune system had almost totally been replaced by that of the donor, meaning she no longer had to take anti-rejection drugs.
(Excerpt) Read more at abc.net.au ...
If scientists can figure out how and why this happened, it could sure mean a world of difference for transplant patients.
I’d like to see this repeated on someone else. Otherwise I remain skeptical about how the blood type changed.
Very interesting. I wonder if the donor had immunities the recipient didn’t have or vice versa. Could be interesting to see if the recipient can get chicken pox again or something similar.
Something like this could lead to putting stem cells from the donor into all major transplant recipients.
This opens a can of worms. A healthy person attributes a condition from a donor.
Gonna have to do detailed screens of the donor.
That's a very good question.
It could be that the two immune systems have somehow combined. *shrug*
(I'm not a doctor. I just know how to spell the word. ...sometimes.)
There was a story in the Chicago Tribune yesterday that talked about a study that has been done with kidney transplants. What has been done is that along with the kidney transplant, bone marrow stem cells from the donor are also implanted in the recipient. This apparently causes the recipient’s immune system to recognize the transplanted kidney as “self” and these people have been able to go without long-term immunosuppressive treatments for years.
Excellent question ... one that I'm sure the docs will be trying hard to answer. If they can figure it out, it will have incredible potential -- a treatment for Type I diabetes, for example.
The article didn't tell what the old and new blood types were. If it went from O to another type or A to AB or B to AB, then it would seem that the marrow might be producing both old and new blood. However if it went in the opposite direction, that means that her own marrow was completely supressed by the new liver. Similarly only a change from positive to negative would be really shocking.
Ummmmmm, Graft Vs Host disease, anyone?
(That's when instead of the patient rejecting the graft, the graft rejects the patient. This is not a good thing!)
The study can be found here at this link, I havent read it yet but it would be interesting to see what intracies are missing from the news article.
What happens to the DNA?
Accidental medical miracle involving ADULT stem cells... This is cool!
Yeah, but suppose the donor cells think the recipients
other tissue is foreign, and start attacking it?
So the patient has a good transplanted organ, but the
rest of the body goes to you know where.
So alot has to be worked out...the news reports with it’s
absolutely poor knowledge base reports matters as if they
are simple things...in fact, they are incredibly complex.
Do you know if the doc’s have run tests to see if it is
attacking? Maybe we’ll find out in a few years whether
having a foreign immune system or a modified immune
system is worth it for the recipient.
She went from O- to O+.
I was at a dinner with one of the Doctors involved the other week. They told me about this in conversation, but I don’t remember all the details. Do remember that one though.
The girl has had to be revaccinated against diseases she’d been previously vaccinated against because she’d lost that protection.