Research Opportunities and Ethical Considerations for Heart and Lung Xenotransplantation Research: A Report From the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Workshop


Kiran Khush, Stephen Latham et al. 

Full citation: 
Khush KK et al., Research opportunities and ethical considerations for heart and lung xenotransplantation research: A report from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute workshop, American Journal of Transplantation,
Xenotransplantation offers the potential to meet the critical need for heart and lung transplantation presently constrained by the current human donor organ supply. Much was learned over the past decades regarding gene editing to prevent the immune activation and inflammation that cause early organ injury, and strategies for maintenance of immunosuppression to promote longer-term xenograft survival. However, many scientific questions remain regarding further requirements for genetic modification of donor organs, appropriate contexts for xenotransplantation research (including nonhuman primates, recently deceased humans, and living human recipients), and risk of xenozoonotic disease transmission. Related ethical questions include the appropriate selection of clinical trial participants, challenges with obtaining informed consent, animal rights and welfare considerations, and cost. Research involving recently deceased humans has also emerged as a potentially novel way to understand how xeno-organs will impact the human body. Clinical xenotransplantation and research involving decedents also raise ethical questions and will require consensus regarding regulatory oversight and protocol review. These considerations and the related opportunities for xenotransplantation research were discussed in a workshop sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and are summarized in this meeting report.
Supplemental information: 
Publication date: 
Publication type: 
Area of study: