Letter: Pig organ donation

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Sir: Pigs will be used as organ donors within 10 years, your science correspondent writes (29 August). Animal organs (xenografts) have been tried in the past, but the rejection process could not be controlled and any success was short-lived.

In the past one to two years many new rejection-suppressing drugs have appeared, which may permit xenografts to work. Professor Starzl's group in Pittsburgh has started a new xenograft programme and in June transplanted a baboon liver into a man dying of liver failure. The new liver is still functioning well. But pig xenografts are the Holy Grail of today's transplant scientists.



Institute of Urology

and Nephrology

Middlesex Hospital

London, W1