Therapy Developed At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Shows Promise In Preventing Rejection Of Transplanted Organs

te a possible immune response. According to study protocols, treatments are given once a month for four months before transplantation. For patients who receive a transplanted kidney, four additional doses are administered. Those who do not receive a transplant are given another dose of IVIG at one year and again at two years after the initial infusions.

Elaine Elizabeth Small, who celebrated her 23rd birthday on May 1, successfully received a kidney donated by her mother, Scarlett S. Small, last December -- in spite of having numerous health problems dating back 14 years. Elaine was diagnosed at age 9 with a connective tissue disorder, which later was determined to be a form of lupus. Despite repeated attempts with a variety of medications to treat the disease and arrest its progress, Elaine required a full knee replacement and a partial knee replacement at age 16.

Eventually, the toxicity of the various medications began to damage Elaine's kidneys. In November 1995, Scarlett was told that Elaine's kidney function had been reduced to less than 10 percent of normal and she would need hemodialysis to stay alive. The next three years were spent battling infections, undergoing additional surgery for the removal of a section of small intestine, and contending with more complications.

"I can't put into words the emotional stress that the family went through, but particularly her because she had dealt with not being well all of her life," said Scarlett, who with her husband, Walter Small, Sr., has two other children, ages 27 and 19. "Instead of things getting better it seemed that as we conquered one small area something major came along."

Before finding Dr. Jordan and the team at Cedars-Sinai, the family had been told that because of Elaine's recurring antibiotic-resistant infections and the continuing assault of lupus on her system, she could not be considered for a transplant. But when Elaine's father learned of studies directed at improving the odds of

Contact: Sandra Van
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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