The Use Of Immunotherapy And Genetic Engineering

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Organ transplants save thousands of lives each year and are one of the most significant medical innovations of the past century. Despite that, each year, the number of patients on the waiting list continues to grow, while the number of donors and transplants remains stagnant. One solution scientists are investigating to solve this problem is xenotransplantation, a procedure which involves the “transplantation, implantation, or infusion of live cells, tissues, or organs from a non-primate source into a primate recipient” (Samdani). This procedure has the potential to benefit thousands by providing a treatment for a wide range of debilitating diseases and aiding in the transplantation process. However, like any other surgical procedure,…show more content…
Not only will xenotransplantation cure diseases, but will also serve as a source of organs and tissues for transplant. Worldwide, very few human organs are available for transplantation, which results in ailing patients waiting in vain for a suitable donor. According to UNOS, a non-profit that manages the nation’s organ transplant system, more than 118,804 Americans are waiting for an organ transplant as of January 2017 (“Data”). The increasing imbalance between the supply and demand for organs, therefore opens the door to xenotransplantation as a solution. Xenografts could serve as an unlimited supply of cells, tissues, and organs (Kleaner). Furthermore, xenotransplantation can also be used to buy time while potential transplant patients wait for a suitable donor. Dr. Michler, surgeon-in-Chief at Montefiore Medical Center, views xenotransplants as “a bridge, buying time of months until [an organ] is found” (Tanne). According to Medscape, a web resource for physicians, “most patients perceive xenotransplantation as an acceptable bridge to transplantation of human organs in life-threatening situations” (Samdani). Bridge transplants can ease the current shortage of organs until researchers find a more permanent solution. It provides patients in dire situations an opportunity to keep holding on to life. Xenotransplantation has proven advantageous in numerous disciplines of medicine.
Nevertheless, opponents of xenotransplantation such as the Campaign for Reasonable
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