This page contains exclusive content for the member of the following sections: TTS, IXA. Log in to view.

ISN-TTS Webinar: Xenotransplantation

112.1 - Xenotransplantation: A Novel Concept or humanity’s Reality for Curing the Organ Donor Shortage?

Presenter: Wayne Hawthorne, Peter Cowan, , , Australia
Authors: Wayne Hawthorne, Peter Cowan, Vincent Lee

Xenotransplantation has seen recent global interest peak due to several clinical xenotransplants being performed in decedent and a live cardiac recipient. However, underpinning these latest transplants have been decades of invested scientific research programs that have been developing the ideal donor source animals to avoid the overwhelming hyperacute xenograft rejection (HAR) seen using non-genetically modified (Non-GM) animal organs, tissues, and cells. But this also needs to be undertaken along with the development of safe and efficacious xenotransplantation technologies, immunosuppression, monitoring, disease screening, patient selection, societal education and acceptance.

Paralleling the advent of such extraordinary transplants there have been several decades of establishment of world xenotransplantation authorities such as the International Xenotransplantation Association (IXA), and the development of guidance documents and regulations for the assessment of these cutting-edge technologies. Like all new technologies there remain outdated concerns and fears of theoretical potential for transmission of xenozoonosis, ethical concerns and outdated or appropriately educated societal concerns and religious views of the benefits or risks and issues for xenotransplantation use of organs, tissues, or cells from animals to humans.

Here we discuss the development of xenotransplantation and the intricate balance in managing the various challenges we are faced with; in the absolute benefits of xenotransplantation with the dichotomy faced in balancing the pros and cons of xenotransplantation with social, religious, ethical, scientific, and medical opinions. Ultimately, the benefits are to those patients suffering from the many and various diseases that drive the need for xenotransplantation, that it may be implemented as soon as possible to help the many millions of patients who can truly benefit.

Learning objectives: 

  • To develop a wider understanding of what xenotransplantation is and how it can provide a novel means for curing the organ donor shortage.
  • To provide an understanding of the issues in undertaking xenotransplantation.
  • To provide a broad understanding of the current legislation involved in provision of xenotransplantation.

Important Disclaimer

By viewing the material on this site you understand and accept that:

  1. The opinions and statements expressed on this site reflect the views of the author or authors and do not necessarily reflect those of The Transplantation Society and/or its Sections.
  2. The hosting of material on The Transplantation Society site does not signify endorsement of this material by The Transplantation Society and/or its Sections.
  3. The material is solely for educational purposes for qualified health care professionals.
  4. The Transplantation Society and/or its Sections are not liable for any decision made or action taken based on the information contained in the material on this site.
  5. The information cannot be used as a substitute for professional care.
  6. The information does not represent a standard of care.
  7. No physician-patient relationship is being established.



Staff Directory


The Transplantation Society
International Headquarters
740 Notre-Dame Ouest
Suite 1245
Montréal, QC, H3C 3X6