Adapted porcine hearts can be transplanted to patients within three years, according to a report citing a surgeon who has introduced cardiac transplantation in the UK.
Sir Terence English, speaking on the 40th anniversary of the first successful heart transplant, told The Sunday Telegraph that his protege would attempt to replace the human kidney with a pig later this year.
The 87-year-old stated: "If the result of xenotransplantation is satisfactory to human porcine kidneys, then it is likely that hearts will be used to good effect in humans within a few years.
"If it works with the kidney, it will work with the heart.
"This will transform the problem."
The cardiac anatomy and physiology of pigs is similar to that in humans, so they are used as models for developing new treatments.
Hopes for "oly grail heart attack treatment" were raised in May after genetic therapy showed promise in pigs.
An international team of researchers, including UK scientists, have discovered that delivering a small piece of genetic material called microRNA-1
Myocardial infarction caused by the sudden blockage of one of the cardiac coronary arteries is the main cause of heart failure.
When a patient experiences a heart attack, he or she remains with permanent structural damage to their heart.
Currently, about 900,000 people live with heart failure in the UK, while millions more have high blood pressure and both can cause heart attacks.
"A cure that helps the heart recover from a heart attack is the holy grail for cardiologists," said Ajay Shah, chairman of the Cardiac Foundation of the British Heart Foundation.
that this may actually be feasible, not just a moon dream, "he added.
Published in the journal Nature, scientists have found that scientists deliver miR-199 to pigs after myocardial infarction.
After a month," almost complete restoration 'of cardiac u
However, scientists must overcome some significant obstacles before genetic therapy can be tested in patients with heart attack in humans.
Most of the pigs treated have died after treatment as microRNA-199 continues. to express himself uncontrollably.
– Press Association