Organ Transplants Without the Drugs

AJ Photo / Photo Researchers

Surgeons performing a kidney transplant operation through an incision in the patient's abdomen

Correction Appended: February 5, 2008

They are frequently called the gift of life, but organ transplants have always been plagued by a painful irony; as desperately as an ailing body needs a healthy organ to replace a faltering one, it often ends up rejecting the priceless replacement part. Decades of research have led to improved drugs to reduce this reaction, but these agents have to be taken for a lifetime and are often difficult to tolerate, leading to higher risks of both infection and cancer.

In an intriguing but small study published in the New England Journal of...

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