Xeno: The Promise of Transplanting Animal Organs into Humans / Edition 1

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Overview

The plight of a patient waiting months, sometimes years, for an organ transplant is one of the most heart-wrenching predicaments confronting medicine today. But the current critical shortage of human donor organs has had one positive consequence: it has stimulated promising new research into the field of xenotransplantation—the transplantation of organs from one animal species to another.
In Xeno: The Promise of Transplanting Animal Organs Into Humans, David Cooper and Robert Lanza explore what may become one of the greatest medical advances of the 21st century. As scientists genetically engineer animal organs to evade the problems of rejection, we can expect a tremendous increase in xenotransplantation. This book recounts the several historical attempts to transplant animal organs into humans, and draws attention to the immense potential and promise of this form of therapy. The problems which remain, and recent breakthroughs in overcoming rejection and in "humanizing" pig organs for transplantation, are fully discussed. The authors also provide a fascinating consideration of the social and ethical questions posed by such procedures. Which patients should be the first to be offered this new form of therapy? Will transplanted animal organs transfer infectious viruses to the human recipient, and will they then be passed on to the community at large? Can society afford the major increase in healthcare expenditure that will result from our ability to provide a limitless number of donor organs?
With profound implications for human health and longevity in the next millennium, Xeno is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of medicine.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Brent W Miller, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: The authors of this book highlight the need, history, problems, and ethics of xenotransplantation in an easy-to-read 250 page hardcover book.
Purpose: They intend to stimulate discussion among transplant physicians and medical ethicists regarding xenotransplantation from pigs to humans.
Audience: Laypersons with some medical knowledge and physicians interested in an overview of the history and current state of xenotransplantation comprise the main audience for this book.
Features: The book is divided into several short chapters. Each chapter is headed by an apt quotation and the first several paragraphs are often descriptions of real-life" situations either in the present or future. Xenotransplantation has become a bigger yet more distinct issue; thus, this book is needed. Still, this book will prove frustrating to many readers because the authors try too hard. There are simply too many people interested in xenotransplantation — at least one dialysis patient or family member questions me each week — to produce a product fur all.
Assessment: The succinct and well-written sections of the history of xenotransplantation and the current barriers to successful xenotransplantation satisfy the most. Other parts of the book quickly get repetitive such as the constant reminder of the need for organs, the use of the pig, and the optimistic portrayals of the future surgeon. Some parts of the book are simply annoying: the lack of annotation, the occasional self-congratulatory tone, and the switch from a lay perspective to a medical perspective in mid-chapter. Ironic moments occur also. The ethics of using pigs is discussed exhaustively, yet I live in a state that raises hogs in massive artificial surroundings and I can walk ten blocks from where I sit and buy any part of a pig, cow, or sheep — no questions asked. The authors place the transplant surgeon on a pedestal, but their evidence actually suggests that although the first 50 years of transplantation belonged to the surgeon, the immunologist has ruled the field the last 20, and the molecular biologist and geneticist hold the keys for the next ten. Despite these shortcomings, I look forward to a second edition as the field advances.
Brent W. Miller
The authors of this book highlight the need, history, problems, and ethics of xenotransplantation in an easy-to-read 250 page hardcover book. They intend to stimulate discussion among transplant physicians and medical ethicists regarding xenotransplantation from pigs to humans. Laypersons with some medical knowledge and physicians interested in an overview of the history and current state of xenotransplantation comprise the main audience for this book. The book is divided into several short chapters. Each chapter is headed by an apt quotation and the first several paragraphs are often descriptions of real-life"" situations either in the present or future. Xenotransplantation has become a bigger yet more distinct issue; thus, this book is needed. Still, this book will prove frustrating to many readers because the authors try too hard. There are simply too many people interested in xenotransplantation -- at least one dialysis patient or family member questions me each week -- to produce a product fur all. The succinct and well-written sections of the history of xenotransplantation and the current barriers to successful xenotransplantation satisfy the most. Other parts of the book quickly get repetitive such as the constant reminder of the need for organs, the use of the pig, and the optimistic portrayals of the future surgeon. Some parts of the book are simply annoying: the lack of annotation, the occasional self-congratulatory tone, and the switch from a lay perspective to a medical perspective in mid-chapter. Ironic moments occur also. The ethics of using pigs is discussed exhaustively, yet I live in a state that raises hogs in massive artificial surroundings and I can walk tenblocks from where I sit and buy any part of a pig, cow, or sheep -- no questions asked. The authors place the transplant surgeon on a pedestal, but their evidence actually suggests that although the first 50 years of transplantation belonged to the surgeon, the immunologist has ruled the field the last 20, and the molecular biologist and geneticist hold the keys for the next ten. Despite these shortcomings, I look forward to a second edition as the field advances.
Journal of the American Medical Association
Xeno is recommended to all students of general transplantation, particularly to those searching for answers to the questions frequently asked in this continuously expanding field. Experts will find this work to be a concise and thorough analysis. The authors quote an unknown writer: " 'A vision without a task is a dream/A task without a vision is a drudgery/A vision with a task is the hope of the world.' Xenotransplantation researchers are indeed fortunate to have both a vision and a task."
Booknews
Cooper, an immunologist at Massachusetts General Hospital's Transplantation Biology Research Center and Lanza, practicing tissue engineering and transplant medicine with a private company, look at the history, current status, and prospects for transplanting organs from other animals, primarily pigs, into humans. They describe the effort to solve the problem of rejection, and consider such ethical questions as who will get the organs first, will infectious viruses come with the organ and spread through humans, whether society can afford the major increase in health care provided by a limitless number of donor organs, and whether people can get a discount by bringing their own pig. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
John Harris
Although Cooper and Lanza are clearly enthusiasts, they set out a remarkably balanced and well-argued case for xenotransplants...Anyone who wants to know about xenotransplants ahould certainly read Cooper and Lanza's excellent book. It is comprehensive and well-argued, highly readable and informative.
Times Literary Supplement

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195128338
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

David Cooper, MD, is an Immunologist at the Transplantation Biology Research Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Robert Lanza, MD, is Senior Director of Tissue Engineering and Transplant Medicine, Advanced Cell Technology, Inc.

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Table of Contents

An appreciation
Foreword
Preface: The next great medical revolution?
Acknowledgments
1 The End of the Night Shift: Organ transplantation today and tomorrow 1
2 Animal Attraction: Supply and demand in the world of organ transplantation 6
3 From Icarcus to the First Heart Transplant: Man's early attempts to bridge the species gap 24
4 All Animals Are Equal, but Some Are More Equal than Others: The choice of donor 44
5 Zero Tolerance: The rejection of animal organs 55
6 A Spoonful of Sugar: Preventing rejection 70
7 The "Humanized" Pig: Manipulating the genes of the donor 90
8 The Immunological Holy Grail: Tolerance 107
9 From Diabetes to Alzheimer's: Cells that will make a difference 120
10 The Discordant Concert: Will the transplanted organ work? 147
11 The Hottest Zone: The fear of an AIDS-like epidemic 160
12 Guinea Pigs: The selection of the first patients 176
13 Animal Rights and Human Wrongs: Ethical concerns 190
14 Protecting the Public: Government regulations and safeguards 210
15 Judgment Day: Potential legal problems 221
16 The Ultimate Piggy Bank: Animal transplants and health care economics 230
17 A Vision with a Task 248
Appendix 251
Glossary of selected biomedical terms 253
Bibliography 261
Index 265
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