This medical video is focusing on a new way to transplant kidneys which is giving greater success.
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Jennifer Matthews: Today, college student Hollis Henley is healthy, but a few months ago, kidney failure, caused by a serious virus, threatened his life. Hollis Henley: My legs started swelling. I started getting real dark sores and lesions on my arms and leg. Jennifer Matthews: First came dialysis, an exhausting process. Then, word that a kidney was available for a transplant. Hollis Henley: It was like 5 in the morning. I called everyone to let them know, it was five in the morning. Jennifer Matthews: The transplant was a success, thankfully, his body accepted the kidney. But other patients aren't so lucky. Dixon Kaufman: We always worry that a patient will have a rejection episode. Jennifer Matthews: Surgeon Dixon Kaufman has found a way to reduce rejection that happens within the first six months after a transplant. An immunosupressant drug called alemtuzumab is the breakthrough. In 2001, Doctor Kaufman began giving it to kidney recipients instead of the usual drug of choice, basiliximab. He found alemtuzumab cut early rejection rates in half. Dixon Kaufman: We're seeing a lot of happy patients. Jennifer Matthews: Alemtuzumab rarely carries side effects, and it doesn't require lifetime steroid use like the current therapy does. Steroids can cause bone disease, diabetes and weight gain. Hollis is grateful for Doctor Kaufman's discovery. Hollis Henley: It's blessing. Jennifer Matthews: A blessing for all transplant recipients who can now live healthier, happier lives than ever before. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.