The body’s immune system helps protect us from infection and has the ability to recognize and destroy foreign cells like cancer cells. Now, when the blood meets a foreign cell, it can produce most of the time an antibody – an antibody to fight the invader. Now, while that’s a good thing in most cases, for organ transplant patients, that can be a problem.
About 30 percent of transplant patients are sensitized, meaning that they have harmful antibodies which will attack foreign tissue such as that transplanted organ from a donor. But all is not lost for these patients. Dr. Andrew Bentall, a Mayo Clinic nephrologist, explains what can be done to help sensitized transplant patients who can be difficult to match with organ donors.