Sue Marshall blogs about diabetes for Desang

Australia lifts ban on animal to human transplants | JDRF – Type 1 Diabetes Blog – Path To A Cure | February 13, 2010

The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council has lifted a five-year ban on the clinical use of xenotransplantation – a medical process involving the transplantation of animal tissue into humans to treat disease.

The ban was originally established by the NHMRC in 2004 to allow for further research into the possible side effects of the technique, particularly concerning the potential transmission of disease from animals to humans.

The NHMRC has now concluded that xenotransplantation research can proceed and that the associated risks with xenotransplantation are minimal and acceptable given the potential benefits.

Whilst the ban has been officially lifted, there are still a number of strict guidelines that need to be followed before xenotransplantation research can take place. These include the development and implementation of strict national frameworks, administered by the Therapeutic Goods Association, to ensure all clinical trials are sufficiently monitored and regulated. Animal welfare and ethics organisations will also be responsible for maintaining a high level of animal care.

Xenotransplantation research holds considerable promise for people with type 1 diabetes, particularly in the area of islet transplantation. JDRF funds a number of research projects in Australia and overseas looking into the possibility of using transplanted pig islet cells to replace the human cells lost during the disease process.

via Australia lifts ban on animal to human transplants | JDRF – Type 1 Diabetes Blog – Path To A Cure.

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