Kidney transplant recipients could soon have a better road to recovery with the development of a new monitoring test for the drug that stops the body rejecting transplanted organs.

The in-house test is being developed by the RMH and the WEHI and would monitor the levels of an immunosuppressant drug called mycophenolic acid.

This drug is used to stop the body from rejecting donor organs but needs to be closely monitored to minimise risk of toxicity.

At the moment, this mycophenolic acid is monitored by sending blood samples to an external lab for testing - a process that can have long wait times.

The test will help drive better patient outcomes by improving the efficiency and accuracy of how transplant patients are monitored post-surgery, and allow testing to be conducted on-site.

The test has not yet been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration or National Association of Testing Authorities, but researchers are hopeful once cleared, it could have a profound impact.

The RMH’s Mass Spectrometry Clinical Laboratory Manager and Clinical Translation Lead at WEHI, Dr Mustafa Ayhan (pictured below, middle), developed the test.

He said it had the potential to help about 1000 kidney transplant patients a year.

“An in-house test will have a significant impact on drug management, patient care, safety and outcomes,” he said.

This work is part of the Colonial Foundation Healthy Ageing Centre (CFHAC), a partnership between WEHI and the RMH, supported by the Colonial Foundation.

RMH and WEHI researchers
Researchers at the RMH and WEHI are developing an in-house test that would monitor the levels of an immunosuppressant drug called mycophenolic acid.
Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
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