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BY THE NUMBERS //

Hard to Get (And Keep)

After transplants, organ recipients face handsful of immune-suppressing drugs per day and the constant threat of rejection.

By Rachael Moeller Gorman // Spring 2009
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1

The kidney’s rank among most frequent organ transplants; in distant second: the liver

78,611

Number of patients on the waiting list for a kidney in June 2008

5
Percentage of patients who die while on the waiting list

15–20

Typical number of pills an organ recipient takes each day to avoid rejection

37

Number of common side effects—including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, abnormal renal function, tremor and infection—of tacrolimus, the most commonly prescribed immunosuppressant

50–64

Age range in which one is most likely to receive a kidney transplant

92.4

Percentage of transplanted kidneys still functioning after one year

49.3

After 10 years (failure most often occurs because the body rejects the organ despite the immunosuppressants)

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The Transplant Trick

chimerism, organ transplants

An experimental protocol fools the immune system into accepting a new organ without debilitating drugs. Could it become routine?

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