Making hepatitis C-infected organs safe for transplantation

Twenty patients at Penn Medicine have been cured of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) following lifesaving kidney transplants from deceased donors who were infected with the disease, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine. The researchers also report that the kidney transplants for these 20 patients are functioning just as well as kidneys that are transplanted from similar donors without HCV.

In 2016, Penn Medicine launched a clinical trial to test the effect of transplanting kidneys from donors with HCV into patients currently on the kidney transplant waitlist who do not have the virus, and who would opt in to receive these otherwise unused organs. Recipients were then treated with an antiviral therapy in an effort to cure the virus after transplantation.

A research team co-led by Peter Reese, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology, and David S. Goldberg, an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology, report full data from the trial, which includes 12-month HCV treatment outcomes in 10 patients and six month outcomes in another 10 patients—all of whom have received a lifesaving kidney transplant, who have been cured of their contracted HCV, and who have reported good quality of life following their transplants.

Read more at Penn Medicine News.