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News from the Kidney Services at Guy's and King's

British Science Fair

October 20, 2010

Experts from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Transplantation at King's College London, based at Guy's Hospital have revealed exciting new scientific developments for kidney transplant patients. These developments are intended to help prevent rejection of the new kidney and extend its life.

 Although transplantation has been taking place for over 50 years, there are a number of significant challenges, such as a shortage of donor kidneys, maintaining the quality of a kidney during transfer from donor to recipient and the risk of rejection both immediately after transplant and in the following years. 

 Scientists at the MRC Centre for Transplantation are working hard to solve these problems.   They discussed two pioneering areas of research at the British Science Festival in Birmingham in September that they hope will have a significant impact on patients in the future - techniques known as protein therapeutics and cell therapy.

 The event was entitled 'Extending the life of the transplant' and was chaired by broadcaster and writer Vivienne Parry. It featured a discussion with author Sue Townsend, who has herself, received a kidney transplant and who kindly produced a new Adrian Mole short storywritten especially for the occasion.

The two hour session was well attended, mostly by students from local schools who joined in an ethical debate about the allocation of donor kidneys. Representatives from The Guy's and St Thomas' Kidney Patients' Association also supported the event.

 Press interest in the event was high with a feature on BBC Breakfast where transplant surgeon Martin Drage took to the sofa with Bill Turnball. Articles also appeared in the Evening Standard and Guardian as well as a feature in The Times.

To find out more about the protein therapeutics and cell therapy visit the King's college London website:

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/news/news_details.php?news_id=1445&year=2010|