Kidney transplants are now possible with donated kidneys infected with hepatitis C.
The first patient to receive a kidney transplant as part of a trial that matches kidneys from donors who had the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) with recipients without the virus has no evidence of HCV in her blood. Irma Hendricks of East Stroudsburg, PA received a kidney transplant in July 2016, and was treated with a full regimen of Zepatier—a recently-approved oral medication prescribed to eradicate HCV.
The clinical trial, known as THINKER, led by David S. Goldberg, MD, MSCE, and Peter Reese, MD, MSCE, both assistant professors of Medicine and Epidemiology at Penn Medicine, aims to determine the safety and efficacy of transplanting kidneys from Hepatitis C-positive donors into patients currently on the kidney transplant waitlist who do not have the Hepatitis C virus.
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