To date, however, no one has made lasting progress in animal-to-human transplantation, Dr. Sudhindran S., Professor of Gastrointestinal Surgery, at Amrita Hospital, Kochi, told IANS .
“We are unlikely to see a major breakthrough in the next 30-40 years because the process involves a situation where the animal organ becomes acceptable to the human body. To overcome it. elimination process, it requires countless complex steps and he said.
However, Dr. Udgeath Dhir, Director and Head of CTVS, Fortis Hospital, Gurugram disagrees. According to him, xenotransplant transplants can be successful because the animal organs will be more compatible with the human body.
“In the near future, we are very confident that we will be able to conduct xenotransplant transplants, where we will modify the immune system or rather balance the immune system in a way that the body accepts. these agencies as a division and not” I don’t deny it,” Dhir told IANS.
He noted that “the field is diversifying a lot. We’ve gotten to the genetic level, where we’re limiting or hiding those cells, which can cause immediate rejection. or late of these organs. And with the development of new cell technology, we can modify the DNA to become part of our body. So in the near future, we will certainly more successful results”.
In a rare medical feat, in January, US doctors successfully transplanted a genetically modified pig heart to David Bennett, 57, with end-stage heart disease. After the surgery, the transplanted heart worked very well for several weeks without any signs of rejection. The patient was able to spend time with family and participate in physical therapy to help regain her strength. But two months later, he died.
While it remains unclear whether organ removal alone played a role in Bennett’s death, the researchers involved in the vehicle transplant procedures don’t say that early, positive results don’t necessarily have to be positive. means long-term success.
The main challenge in this process is the immune barriers that lead to the human immune system rejecting the pig’s organs, the doctors say.
However, some recent xenotransplant transplants include only pigs. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA, successfully transplanted pig kidneys into a brain-dead person, the kidneys were not rejected and even produced urine.
In September 2021, a study published in the American Journal of Transplantation showed that the transplant of two kidneys from a gene-edited pig into a brain-dead patient. Again in October, doctors at NYU Langone Health, New York performed a similar operation.
But why choose only pig organs for this process?
“The pig model has been the focus of research over the past two decades because of its physiological similarities to humans, large litter sizes of 10 or more animals, short gestation periods of less than four months, and low risk of transmission. infections than non-human primates,” Dr Avnish Seth, Division Head, Organ Donation and Transplant at Manipal Hospital, told IANS.
Dr Vikram Raut, Consultant, Liver Transplant & HPB Surgery, Apollo Hospital, Navi Mumbai adds: “Swine are most commonly used because their genetic sequence can be easily matched to a human’s. , anatomically similar organ sizes and less risk of cross-contamination. .
The ethical aspects of using animal organs for human consumption have also raised concerns.
Dr Ankita Pandey, a toxicologist and science policy advisor to PETA India, told IANS that “to tackle organ shortages, we need more awareness, not action. more objects”.
“Animal-to-human transplants are nothing more than fanciful projects that seek to make sensational headlines, and they’re fraught with danger,” Pandey said.