Some Australian heart and kidney surgeons have described research being done at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra as "a major breakthrough" and "enormously exciting".
CU Dr Kevin Lafferty looking through microscope (2 shots)
CU Small piece of tissue in a petri dish, and Dr Lafferty with laboratory equipment and mouse tail (3 shots)
CU Dr Lafferty
SV Laboratory technician with mice and mice in laboratory (4 shots)
CU Injection given in mouse's tail by technician (3 shots)
SV Dr Lafferty looking through microscope
CU Dr Lafferty speaking in English
HARVEY: "Dr Kevin Lafferty's work is already being described as probably the single most important Australian contribution so far to medical science. The result of five years of work in his laboratory at the John Curtin research school has been to overcome the biggest barrier in transplant operation, rejection of the transplanted organ. Dr Lafferty and his team found the answer by treating the organ to be transplanted, not the animal or person getting the transplant. Thousands of transplants in mice over two years and not one failure indicates success. The breakthrough offers great hope to diabetics. Insulin-producing glands can be transplanted.
Injections could become a thing of the past. And the implications for all types of human organ transplants, heart and kidney for instance, are enormous. Dr. Lafferty though, remains characteristically cautious."
LAFFERTY: "We cannot ever be absolutely confident that it will work in the human until we actually do some clinical trials, but this is the way this sort of research usually proceeds. You do the basic work, you do animal models. If it works there we are certainly very optimistic that it will probably work for humans, but we will to do clinical trials to find that out."
REPORTER: PETER HARVEY
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Background: Some Australian heart and kidney surgeons have described research being done at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra as "a major breakthrough" and "enormously exciting". The subject of their excitement is research into the problems of foreign tissue rejection in organ transplant patients. The work could help those with diabetes, leukaemia and heart trouble. A Senior Fellow in Immunology, Dr. Kevin Lafferty, says he has found a way of suppressing the method by which transplanted organs stimulate rejection symptoms in the host. His treatment does not use the often dangerous immuno-suppressant drugs. Peter Harvey of TCN Nine Sydney reports.