Heart patches and functioning kidney units cloned in cows
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT) reported today that nuclear transplantation can be used to generate functional immune-compatible tissues. The research, which will appear in the July issue (cover story) of Nature Biotechnology, by ACT and its collaborators, provides the first experimental evidence that it may be possible to use cloning to generate medically important tissues and eliminate tissue rejection. Heart patches and miniature kidneys engineered from cloned cells were successfully tested in a large-animal model, the cow, which has a sophisticated immune system similar to that of humans.
"These results bode well for the future of human therapeutic cloning," said Robert Lanza, Vice President of Medical & Scientific Development at ACT, and lead author of the study. "Cloning could theoretically provide a limitless supply of cells and organs for any type of regenerative therapy. Before now, therapeutic cloning as a means of preventing rejection was criticized by some as being purely theoretical – just an idea. This study furnishes the first scientific evidence that cloned tissues can be transplanted back into animals without being destroyed by the bodys immune system. The use in medicine to generate immune-compatible cells using cloning would overcome one of the major scientific challenges in transplantation medicine - namely, the problem of organ and tissue rejection."
The goal of nuclear transplantation is to clone genetically matched cells and organs for transplantation into patients suffering from a wide range of disorders that result from tissue loss or dysfunction. In addition to patients with heart, lung, liver and/or kidney disease, millions more suffer from diabetes, arthritis, AIDS, strokes, cancer and other diseases that may one day be treatable using this technology. It has been estimated that by the year 2010 over 2 million patients will suffer from end-stage kidney disease alone, at an aggregate cost of over $1 trillion dollars during the coming decade.
Robert Lanza | EurekAlert
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