This health video is looking into the advancements of saving livers to in turn save lives.
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Jennifer Matthews: Tom Coletti remembers how he felt while he waited for a liver transplant. Tom Coletti: I was very weak. I couldn't walk up the steps, down the steps. I was crawling on my hands and knees. Jennifer Matthews: Tom found a donor, and was given a new lease on life. But transplants are only half the battle. Preventing your body from rejecting that organ is another story. Dr. Ignazio Marino: Rejection happens in at least to 40% of patients undergoing a liver transplant. Jennifer Matthews: With that goal in mind, Dr. Ignazio Marino and a team of researchers studied the effect of two anti-rejection drugs, basiliximab and tacrolimus. The medications were given to 50 liver transplant patients. Ignazio Marino: These two drugs, used in combination, allowed us to have a significant decrease in the rejection. We went from about 40% rejection to only 12%. Jennifer Matthews: Side effects were minimal. Dr. Marino says this treatment is a sign of good things to come. Ignazio Marino: A transplant is not any longer a treatment to save a life momentarily. It is a treatment to give an excellent quality of life back to our patients. Jennifer Matthews: Tom has not experienced any side effects. He's now back to his normal activities, taking walks with his wife, Joanna. Tom Coletti: I've never felt so great in my life. Jennifer Matthews: And, now he's living with a little less to worry about. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.