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Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

Old Oct 5th 2012, 9:01 pm
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Default Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

A step too far or good science?

Human-pig cell transplant trial approved

Health Minister Tony Ryall gave Living Cell Technologies the go-ahead yesterday to test the safety and clinical effect of NTCELL in New Zealand.

Ethical approval is the next hurdle, but the company's chief executive, Andrea Grant, is confident the trial will get under way next year.
I think if I was affected by this devastating disease I'd prefer to find out what other countries are doing first before agreeing to pig cells being transplanted into my brain.
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Old Oct 5th 2012, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

If I had it I would volunteer to be Guinea pig. I would do/ risk anything
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Old Oct 6th 2012, 5:40 am
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Default Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

If I or a family member had Parkinson's, I'd be quietly excited by this.
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Old Oct 6th 2012, 9:29 am
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Smile Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

If I had it I'd do anything and everything in my power. Why should I object to others thing the same?

Ditto stem cells and genetically engineered crops.
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Old Oct 6th 2012, 10:58 am
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Default Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

Stem cell research has been going on for years for Parkinsons's disease using foetal cells.

Ok so how do you feel when I tell you the company conducting the research is Australian?

http://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au...gies-0604.html

and that the benefits of the implant in animals only lasted 6 months.

I think I would be asking why the phase 1 clinical trials are being held in New Zealand, are people more willing to be experimented on over there or is the regulatory environment a little more laissez faire ?
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Old Oct 6th 2012, 12:35 pm
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Default Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

Why does it matter. Maybe insurance is cheaper but frankly couldn't care less if a breakthrough was made in Timbuktu and tested in blackstump Taihape.
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Old Oct 6th 2012, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

Nz ethics is very rigorous and the inclusion / exclusion criteria for clinical trials is very tough. Therefore even if people are willing to participate the may not be able to.
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Old Oct 6th 2012, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

Originally Posted by phyns View Post
Why does it matter. Maybe insurance is cheaper but frankly couldn't care less if a breakthrough was made in Timbuktu and tested in blackstump Taihape.
From the point of view of patients it doesn't matter where the medication comes from and where it was tested. But from the point of ethics I think there can be an issue with companies going abroad to test medications on foreigners. Why don't they test it on their own people?
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Old Oct 6th 2012, 8:32 pm
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Default Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

You do know that most testing companies are independent and test for international companies all the time. It's not all conspiracy theories. The same testing organisation could also test for a German company.
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Old Oct 6th 2012, 9:29 pm
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Default Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

I reckon that if I had Parkinson's I would be thanking the researchers for making this trial available to me. I read somewhere that Michael J Fox was willing to have his brain cut in half for some revolutionary trial treatment. Take your pick :
1) Have brain cut in half.
2) Have cells from pigs transplanted.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. It's not as though anyone is holding a gun to anyone's head like some sort of Dr Mengele from Nazi Germany. It's not compulsory. And it could be that NZers are the first to benefit from it.

What I also think is that someone enjoys googling what they perceive to be negative stuff about another country in their spare time and posting it on the internet because then they can sit back thinking that yes indeed they are living in paradise and other people aren't and then they can say 'aahhhh ... that makes me feel better!!'
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Old Oct 6th 2012, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

Originally Posted by waikatoguy View Post
What I also think is that someone enjoys googling what they perceive to be negative stuff about another country in their spare time and posting it on the internet because then they can sit back thinking that yes indeed they are living in paradise and other people aren't and then they can say 'aahhhh ... that makes me feel better!!'
Well said waikatoguy
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Old Oct 6th 2012, 10:12 pm
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Default Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

I don't have a problem with this at all. If I was desperate for a cure then I would try practically anything.

As Ragdolls has said NZ does have a rigorous ethics committee, so it's not a case of the Aussies using their Kiwi cousins as guinea pigs as the OP seems to be suggesting.

Clinical trials go on all over the world & are often performed in multiple centres & results collated.

I think Waikatoguy makes a relevant point.
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Old Oct 6th 2012, 11:30 pm
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Default Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

your trying make a political issue out of this which I'm just not seeing.
Are you suggesting the researchers are placing a lower value on the lives / health of New Zealanders
than other countries? Surely if that was the case they would be looking at undergoing trails in places
like the Indian subcontinent where compensation claim payouts would be minimal.

I think Waikatoguy has hit the nail on the head with this one.

Last edited by Justcol; Oct 6th 2012 at 11:33 pm.
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Old Oct 7th 2012, 12:02 am
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Default Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

Originally Posted by Woodlea View Post
Well said waikatoguy
Yes he has hit the nail on the head
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Old Oct 7th 2012, 8:11 am
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Default Re: Transplanting pig brain cells into humans

Originally Posted by Assanah View Post
From the point of view of patients it doesn't matter where the medication comes from and where it was tested. But from the point of ethics I think there can be an issue with companies going abroad to test medications on foreigners. Why don't they test it on their own people?
I'm glad to see someone is asking these questions.

I think it's being tested in New Zealand because that's where the disease free Auckland Island pigs are reared. They say they are disease free but pigs are carriers of retroviruses that are notoriously difficult to detect and take years to show any symptoms. The most famous type of retrovirus is HIV. Who knows what others have yet to be discovered and what can happen when they jump the species barrier.

I was surprised to see that the approval for the stage 1 trials has been presented as a fait accompli. Did I miss the debate about the ethics and morality of xenotransplantation in New Zealand, or didn't it happen yet?

Where and when was the public consultation? Did tony Ryall make the decision unilaterally and who gave him the authority to do that?

The consultation has already been held here in Australia, did the same thing happen over there?

http://www.lifescientist.com.au/arti...ted_australia/

http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/health-ethic...ransplantation

Part of the debate needs to include the experiences of clinical trials in other countries, why some stopped at stage 2 and never progressed. Why some people went on to develop malignant cancers and suffered seizures.

People volunteering to take part in the trials need to do so with fully informed consent. Do they realise they will be taking anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives (even if the transplant fails) will have to practice safe sex, not give blood donations, log their sexual partners and be subject to lifetime monitoring?

Do they know that in double blind trials conducted in other countries the benefit of the transplant was considered only marginally more effective than a placebo procedure, and that transplanted cells died off over time. IMO the benefits of the transplant do not outweigh the risks.

I don't understand why the NZ public isn't all over this and asking the hard questions, are they content to be used as the testing ground?

I would hate to think the reason why these trials are being staged in New Zealand is because people are more compliant there, or that their naivete was being taken advantage of .
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