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Stem cells may let transplant organs avoid rejection

from The Boston Globe

An organ transplant offers a new lease on life but, as with any lease, there is important fine print: Patients will need to take powerful drugs to suppress the body's immune system and prevent it from attacking the new organ. So even if the transplant takes, patients can become seriously sick, and even die, because of minor illnesses that a fully functioning immune system would ward off easily. But a potential breakthrough is underway in Holliston, where a company called Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology is developing a system that dramatically reduces the risk of rejection and the need to suppress the immune system. The trick is that Harvard Apparatus infuses the transplant tissue with a patient's own stem cells before surgery, fooling the body into believing the new organ is actually its own. more


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