The study involved twenty children from three different transplant centers who received liver transplants. In each of these transplants, the child received liver tissue from one of their parents. In other words, the parent was a living donor for their child. Each child was about eight-and-half years old when they discontinued the anti-rejection meds. Of those twenty kids, twelve of them, or 60%, went three or more years without any signs of rejection after stopping their anti-rejection medication. The other eight had to resume their anti-rejection medications after showing signs of rejection. However, each of these recovered from the rejection episodes and their transplanted liver tissue regained normal function and sustained no permanent damage.
The results of this study is a big win for pediatric liver recipients for various reasons. First, anti-rejection medications have their own side effects which include elevated cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and the potential for kidney problems. Some transplant recipients even develop diabetes due to these medications. Second, with your immune system suppressed to avoid rejection, there is always a higher risk of developing infections and cancer. Third, if a child who receives a transplant can one day stop taking their anti-rejection meds, it'll mean more cash in their parents pockets and more in their own when they leave the nest. And who doesn't like having more cash ?
The taking of anti-rejection meds does have a downside. However, it beats the other alternative of ... being dead. And yes, ... you can quote the Sheepdog on that if you want to.
Source : newswise.com article titled Many Children with Liver Transplants from Parents Can Safely Stop Using Anti-rejection Drugs