Organ transplantation--how much of the promise has been realized?

Nat Med. 2005 Jun;11(6):605-13. doi: 10.1038/nm1251.


Since the introduction of organ transplantation into medical practice, progress and optimism have been abundant. Improvements in immunosuppressive drugs and ancillary care have led to outstanding short-term (1--3-year) patient and graft survival rates. This success is mitigated by several problems, including poor long-term (>5-year) graft survival rates, the need for continual immunosuppressive medication and the discrepancy between the demand for organs and the supply. Developing methods to induce transplant tolerance, as a means to improve graft outcomes and eliminate the requirement for immunosuppression, and expanding the pool of organs for transplantation are the major challenges of the field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Organ Transplantation*
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Transplants / supply & distribution


  • Immunosuppressive Agents