ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

Indian-Origin Girl Has UK’s First ‘Rejection Proof’ Transplant: How Was It Done?

8-year-old Aditi became the first person in the UK to have a kidney transplant without the need for lifelong drugs.

Published
Fit
3 min read
story-hero-img
i
Aa
Aa
Small
Aa
Medium
Aa
Large
Hindi Female

Eight-year-old Aditi Shankar has now become the first person in the UK to undergo a breakthrough transplant without the need for lifelong immunosuppressant drugs. How? Her team of doctors reprogrammed her immune system.

Why is this such a big deal for the Indian-origin girl and otherwise? How did her doctors pull it off?

Indian-Origin Girl Has UK’s First ‘Rejection Proof’ Transplant: How Was It Done?

  1. 1. What Was her Condition?

    According to her father, Uday Shankar, Aditi had been on dialysis for the past three years.

    Due to severe irreversible kidney failure, she required a kidney transplant. However, the risks were high as she had been grappling with a rare genetic condition that affected her immune system.

    When a patient receives a transplanted organ, there is a high risk of their body rejecting the new addition. Generally, this is tackled with the help of immunosupressant drugs which the recipient would need to take for life.
    Expand
  2. 2. What Did Her Doctors Do?

    Aditi's doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, figured that they could reduce the risk of rejection if they could reprogram her immune system to be the same as her donor kidney.

    Aditi had received her mother's bone marrow 6 months before the transplant for and immune condition.

    This allowed her immune system to become a match for the new kidney that was also donated by her mother – reducing the problems associated with rejection as much as possible.

    This is the first time a kidney transplant like this has been successfully done in the UK where the patient wouldn't need life-long immunosuppressant drugs.

    "This is the first time I have cared for someone in 25 years who has not required immunosuppression after kidney transplantation," Professor Stephen Marks, Clinical Lead for Renal Transplantation at Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health told the local media.
    Expand
  3. 3. Aditi's Life After Surgery

    The transplant on Friday, 23 September, was a success, and Aditi's new kidney is able to work without the continued need for immunosuppressant drugs.

    According to her parents, Aditi is already doing better.

    "The past three years Aditi's energy had been lost to dialysis. After her kidney transplant, almost instantly, we saw a big change in her energy levels. We take our organs for granted, but we all have such a gift in us."
    Uday Shankar, Aditi's father, quoted by PTI

    "The past three years she has been restricted with a Hickman line (an intravenous tube which delivers medication, nutrition and takes blood samples directly from a vein)...she is now starting swimming lessons," he shared.

    According to the specialists involved, it is hoped that the success of Aditi's transplant will lead to further investigations into how a bone marrow transplant from the same living organ donor could be used to treat children and adults with kidney failure and other serious conditions.

    "We hope that our research will provide the option for more children, like Aditi, for whom kidney transplant was not previously an option, to have the opportunity to have a life-changing kidney transplant."
    Prof Stephen Marks, Clinical Lead for Renal Transplantation at Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

    However, the experts added that in the near future, this will only be for seriously ill patients as a last-resort option, as the risks associated with a double transplant are greater than that of a regular kidney transplant.

    (At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

    Expand

What Was her Condition?

According to her father, Uday Shankar, Aditi had been on dialysis for the past three years.

Due to severe irreversible kidney failure, she required a kidney transplant. However, the risks were high as she had been grappling with a rare genetic condition that affected her immune system.

When a patient receives a transplanted organ, there is a high risk of their body rejecting the new addition. Generally, this is tackled with the help of immunosupressant drugs which the recipient would need to take for life.
ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

What Did Her Doctors Do?

Aditi's doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, figured that they could reduce the risk of rejection if they could reprogram her immune system to be the same as her donor kidney.

Aditi had received her mother's bone marrow 6 months before the transplant for and immune condition.

This allowed her immune system to become a match for the new kidney that was also donated by her mother – reducing the problems associated with rejection as much as possible.

This is the first time a kidney transplant like this has been successfully done in the UK where the patient wouldn't need life-long immunosuppressant drugs.

"This is the first time I have cared for someone in 25 years who has not required immunosuppression after kidney transplantation," Professor Stephen Marks, Clinical Lead for Renal Transplantation at Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health told the local media.
0

Aditi's Life After Surgery

The transplant on Friday, 23 September, was a success, and Aditi's new kidney is able to work without the continued need for immunosuppressant drugs.

According to her parents, Aditi is already doing better.

"The past three years Aditi's energy had been lost to dialysis. After her kidney transplant, almost instantly, we saw a big change in her energy levels. We take our organs for granted, but we all have such a gift in us."
Uday Shankar, Aditi's father, quoted by PTI

"The past three years she has been restricted with a Hickman line (an intravenous tube which delivers medication, nutrition and takes blood samples directly from a vein)...she is now starting swimming lessons," he shared.

According to the specialists involved, it is hoped that the success of Aditi's transplant will lead to further investigations into how a bone marrow transplant from the same living organ donor could be used to treat children and adults with kidney failure and other serious conditions.

"We hope that our research will provide the option for more children, like Aditi, for whom kidney transplant was not previously an option, to have the opportunity to have a life-changing kidney transplant."
Prof Stephen Marks, Clinical Lead for Renal Transplantation at Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

However, the experts added that in the near future, this will only be for seriously ill patients as a last-resort option, as the risks associated with a double transplant are greater than that of a regular kidney transplant.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from fit

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More
×
×