Precision Medicine in Kidney Transplantation: Just Hype or a Realistic Hope?

Ehsan Nobakht, Muralidharan Jagadeesan, Rohan Paul, Jonathan Bromberg, Sherry Dadgar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Desirable outcomes including rejection- A nd infection-free kidney transplantation are not guaranteed despite current strategies for immunosuppression and using prophylactic antimicrobial medications. Graft survival depends on factors beyond human leukocyte antigen matching such as the level of immunosuppression, infections, and management of other comorbidities. Risk stratification of transplant patients based on predisposing genetic modifiers and applying precision pharmacotherapy may help improving the transplant outcomes. Unlike certain fields such as oncology in which consistent attempts are being carried out to move away from the "error and trial approach," transplant medicine is lagging behind in implementing personalized immunosuppressive therapy. The need for maintaining a precarious balance between underimmunosuppression and overimmunosuppression coupled with adverse effects of medications calls for a gene-based guidance for precision pharmacotherapy in transplantation. Technologic advances in molecular genetics have led to increased accessibility of genetic tests at a reduced cost and have set the stage for widespread use of gene-based therapies in clinical care. Evidence-based guidelines available for precision pharmacotherapy have been proposed, including guidelines from Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium, the Pharmacogenomics Knowledge Base National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, and the US Food and Drug Administration. In this review, we discuss the implications of pharmacogenetics and potential role for genetic variants-based risk stratification in kidney transplantation. A single score that provides overall genetic risk, a polygenic risk score, can be achieved by combining of allograft rejection/loss-associated variants carried by an individual and integrated into practice after clinical validation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E650
JournalTransplantation Direct
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 7 2021


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