It is hoped that it will be possible to use pig islets of Langerhans for human use within twelve years for diabetes patients.
This is the main focus of professor Bernhard Hering, scientific leader at the diabetes institute at the University of Minnesota, USA.
First clinical trails could be held as early as 2010, Hering said in an interview published in the German paper Die Welt.
To suppress rejection, Hering would like to give patients a ‘negative vaccination’ with pig cells several days before the operation.
In that process pig cells will be brought in contact with the receiver. This way, the rejection reaction will be less heavy.