Xenotransplantation (xenos- from the Greek meaning “foreign”), is the transplantation of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another. Such cells, tissues or organs are called xenografts or xenotransplants. It is contrasted with allotransplantation (from other individual of same species), syngeneic transplantation or isotransplantation (grafts transplanted between two genetically identical individuals of the same species) and autotransplantation (from one part of the body to another in the same person).
Xenotransplantation of human tumor cells into immunocompromised mice is a research technique frequently used in pre-clinical oncology research.
Human xenotransplantation offers a potential treatment for end-stage organ failure, a significant health problem in parts of the industrialized world. It also raises many novel medical, legal and ethical issues. A continuing concern is that many animals, such as pigs, have a shorter lifespan than humans, meaning that their tissues age at a quicker rate. Disease transmission (xenozoonosis) and permanent alteration to the genetic code of animals are also causes for concern. A few successful cases of xenotransplantation are published.It is not uncommon for patients and physicians to use the term “allograft” imprecisely to refer to either allograft (human-to-human) or xenograft (animal-to-human), but it is helpful scientifically (for those searching or reading the scientific literature) to maintain the more precise distinction in usage.
Originating outside an organism and being introduced.
Relating to xenogeny.
Derived from a different species and therefore genetically and immunologically incompatible