Undaunted By Death Of First Baboon Liver Recipient, Interdisciplinary Transplant Team Looks To The Future

With knowledge gained, surgeons and researchers in Pittsburgh proceed with ambitious plans for xenotransplantation Clinicians and medical researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are pressing forward with plans for a series of four baboon-to-human liver transplants, even after the death earlier this month of the first human recipient of a baboon liver. Despite the recipient's death, and despite strong opposition from animal rights groups, the transplant team hopes interspecie

Franklin Hoke
Sep 27, 1992


With knowledge gained, surgeons and researchers in Pittsburgh proceed with ambitious plans for xenotransplantation
Clinicians and medical researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are pressing forward with plans for a series of four baboon-to-human liver transplants, even after the death earlier this month of the first human recipient of a baboon liver. Despite the recipient's death, and despite strong opposition from animal rights groups, the transplant team hopes interspecies transplantation--or xenotransplantation--will open new avenues of potential therapy for patients whose organs have failed and for whom a human donor is not an option.

"It's certain to go forward," says Thomas E. Starzl in discussing xenotransplantation. Starzl is a professor of surgery at Pittsburgh and director of the Pittsburgh Transplantation Institute there. "But everything that has ever happened in this field has been very tough and paid for with tears. This isn't going to be any different. I don't...