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The Future of Kidney Transplantation

  • 1 Leif Oxburgh DVM, PhD, is affiliated with Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and Barry Smith MD, PhD, is President and CEO of The Rogosin Institute and Director of its Dreyfus Health Foundation division. He is Professor of Clinical Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and Attending Physician at the New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.
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The facts are straightforward. A kidney transplant is the optimal therapy for renal replacement therapy in ESRD. It is optimal from the point of view of its ability to restore both the health and quality of life of the individual affected and its long-term cost-effectiveness. Dialysis, whether hemo- or peritoneal and whether in-center or at home, is life preserving and necessary, but in the final analysis, it cannot compete with transplantation.

Today, 104,706 people are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. In 2016, only 19,061 kidney transplants were accomplished. Roughly one-third of these involved living organ donors, and