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Oxford University scientists have shown that a drug given at the time of a kidney transplant operation halves the risk of early rejection of the organ. The drug, called alemtuzumab, also allows a less toxic regimen of anti-rejection drugs to be used after the operation.

The researchers have reported their results in the medical journal The Lancet and have presented their findings at the World Transplant Congress in San Francisco.

Kidney transplantation is still the best treatment for patients with kidney failure, but much more subtle approaches are needed if success rates are to be improved.

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