New progress in immunobiology and transplantation research
- Xian C. Li1
© Author 2014
Published: 26 January 2014
In this special issue of Burns & Trauma, we focus on transplant immunology, highlighting the pressing issues in the field and emerging strategies in resolving these issues, especially in the area of tolerance induction. The ultimate goal is to achieve transplant tolerance, a state of stable transplant survival without lifelong immunosuppression.
This topic is a timely one, as solid organ transplantation has clearly come of age, and within a relatively short period of time, transplantation developed from just an exploratory procedure to a preferred treatment of choice for end-stage organ failure. From a clinical perspective, the short-term transplant survival has been excellent now, with 1-year survival greater than 90% for most organ transplants in the clinic. This is mainly due to improvement in immunosuppressive protocols that most effectively control acute rejection. This remarkable accomplishment has resulted in significant advances in many other fronts in clinical medicine, including vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation (VCA) for trauma patients whose injuries are just beyond repair by conventional surgeries. The current experience with hand and face transplantation in the world for those with debilitating and dysfiguring injuries has generated tremendous enthusiasm in that transplantation of multiple different tissues and organs together as a single unit (like a hand) can offer a therapeutic option for some patients that otherwise have no choice of treatment at all.
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