WASHINGTON, DC — Prospects for successful xenotransplantation — therapeutic transplants of animal organs and tissues into humans — are improving. But workers in the field caution that there is still a long way to go before organs from animals will be able to fix the perpetual shortfall in the supply of human transplant tissues.

These were the key conclusions at the 11/12 March 2002 Advisory Committee on Xenotransplantation (SACX) meeting at the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), at which brought committee members were brought up to date on recent studies.

Established in 1999, SACX meets quarterly, and will eventually put together reports on the state-of-the-art, safety issues and informed consent, destined for the desk of DHHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, a Bush appointee. The most cheering news discussed at the meeting was the recent production of transgenic piglets lacking a gene that triggers immune...

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