Xenotransplantation was proposed a long time ago as a possible solution to the world-wide shortage of human organs. For years, researchers in this field have almost exclusively directed their efforts towards combating the immunological barrier that precluded long-term xenograft survival. Studies have been conducted in both small and large animal models and the most relevant results have been obtained in pre-clincal studies, specifically those utilising the pig-to-nonhuman primate combination. In this context, a better understanding of the immunological mechanisms underlying the rejection of a xenograft have allowed the identification of specific targets of intervention that have resulted in considerable improvements in survival of porcine organs or cells in nonhuman primates. However it has also become apparent that if xenotransplantation has to enter the clinical arena, a multidisciplinary approach will be needed to comprehensively tackle the different issues related to the use of a xenograft to cure human disease.In this regard, the safety, ethics and regulatory aspects of xenotransplantation are currently being aggressively addressed to enable the initiation of xenotransplantation with a favourable risk/benefit ratio.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2009|