Conclusion

At the time of this writing, xenotransplantation is not applied routinely for any medical purpose. However, clinical trials using porcine cells for the treatment of Parkinson's disease and various metabolic diseases have been conducted, and new trials of various types are planned. Because the immune reactions suffered by transplanted cells are far less severe than the immune reactions suffered by transplanted organs, it can be anticipated that xenogeneic cellular transplants may provide a first step toward full clinical application. It is hoped that new insights gained from the immune response to cellular xenografts and application of gene targeting in swine will eventually allow the transplantation of intact porcine organs into humans. Such an advance would certainly revolutionize the treatment of organ failure.

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