Kidney Transplant With No Anti-Rejection Drugs? Thank Adult Stem Cells

Bioethics   David Prentice, Ph.D.   Jun 4, 2013   |   3:53PM    Washington, DC

Rob Waddell has had a kidney transplant, but he takes no anti-rejection drugs to prevent his body from rejecting the transplanted kidney.

WaddellsThe trick? Adult stem cells! These versatile, life-saving cells have many uses beyond tissue repair and maintenance.

Rob has a genetic problem called polycystic kidney disease. As his kidney function deteriorated, he was told by his doctor that he would need a kidney transplant.

With organ transplants, the recipient must usually take large doses of anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their life, to prevent rejection of the transplanted organ. But the drugs are also a double-edged sword, because their toxicity eventually can lead to deterioration of the transplanted organ, especially in the case of kidneys.

Rob signed up for a clinical trial where he received bone marrow adult stem cells from the kidney donor. Those adult stem cells became part of Rob’s immune system, and “re-trained” his body to recognize the donated kidney as his own.

Rob now lives a fully active life, and WITHOUT taking anti-rejection drugs. All because of the adult stem cell transplant. Adult stem cells really are life savers.

You can see Rob’s video story at You can view other success stories of patients treated with adult stem cells at