Immunosuppressive Therapy in Solid Organ Transplantation

  • Nick Torpey
  • J. Andrew Bradley
  • John J. Fung


In the early days of transplantation, no effective immunosuppressive agents were available and early attempts to perform kidney transplantation between individuals who were not genetically identical failed because of acute rejection. The breakthrough came in 1959 when Schwartz and Dameshek discovered the immunosuppressive properties of 6-mercaptopurine and Calne went on to show that azathioprine (AZA), one of its derivatives, was able to prevent rejection of canine kidney allografts. Azathioprine alone was not sufficient to prevent human kidney allografts from rejecting but when combined with corticosteroids it was possible to achieve 50 percent 1-year graft survival. This was a remarkable achievement and for the next twenty years AZA plus steroids, (sometimes supplemented with polyclonal anti-lymphocyte antibodies), remained the standard immunosuppressive therapy after renal transplantation.


Transplant Recipient Acute Rejection Graft Survival Immunosuppressive Agent Mycophenolate Mofetil 
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© Springer-Verlag London 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nick Torpey
  • J. Andrew Bradley
  • John J. Fung

There are no affiliations available

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