Liver Transplantation and Tolerance
When you get a liver transplant, you will need to take anti-rejection medications for the rest of your life. These medications have been proven to help prevent rejection, a process in which your immune system recognizes the transplanted liver as foreign and damages it.
However, like all medicines, anti-rejection medications can have side effects, particularly when used for many years. These medicines increase your risk for developing kidney damage, high blood pressure, diabetes, infections, and cancer. Therefore, one goal of transplant research is to find a way for people to protect their transplanted organ without being on anti-rejection medications forever. This is known as a state of transplant tolerance.