Worth it? A faster trans­plant but a kid­ney with hep­ati­tis C

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

A bold ex­per­i­ment is giv­ing some pa­tients a chance at cut­ting years off their wait for a kid­ney trans­plant if they agree to a dras­tic-sound­ing op­tion — get­ting an or­gan al­most sure to in­fect them with hep­ati­tis C.

Bet­ting on new med­i­ca­tions that prom­ise to cure hep­ati­tis C, two lead­ing trans­plant cen­ters aim to use or­gans that to­day go to waste.

Pilot stud­ies are un­der­way at the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia and Johns Hop­kins Univer­sity to test trans­plant­ing kid­neys from de­ceased donors with hep­ati­tis C into re­cip­i­ents who don’t al­ready have that virus.

“We al­ways dreaded hep­ati­tis C,” said Dr. Peter Reese, a Penn kid­ney spe­cial­ist who is help­ing lead the re­search. “But now hep­ati­tis C is just a dif­fer­ent dis­ease,” enough to con­sider what he calls the trade-off of get­ting a new kid­ney years faster but one that comes with a hope­fully treat­able in­fec­tion.

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