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Aurora magazine

Genetic research could eradicate discards

The Dot Foundation has an ambitious goal: eradicating rejection thanks to genetic research on transplants. The foundation was born a few months ago, thanks to an initiative of the Piedmont Region. At his head is Professor Mauro Salizzoni, an expert in transplantation.

The rejection is a problem that affects about a fifth of those who have received a new organ. It is estimated that 20% of those awaiting a transplant are on their second attempt. In these cases, the first organ was attacked by the patient's immune system and irreparably damaged. The work of the Dot Foundation aims to solve this problem by identifying possible early markers of rejection. This way you avoid losing the transplanted organ.

Salizzoni has launched an announcement: it could take € 200,000 and a year of work to start the project. A project that goes back to the origins of the history of transplants, which began with genetics. A project that could also bring benefits to other areas of medicine. Recall that the new drug against hepatitis C comes from transplant medicine.

To start the research, thousands of biological samples of donors and recipients will need to be collected and stored. Researchers will analyze the DNA, in order to identify any common genetic variants. These could become early markers linked to the risk of rejection, allowing to better match the organ and the recipient. This would extend the life of the transplanted organs and improve that of those who receive them.