BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6968.1592 (Published 10 December 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1592

Long term, the shortage of organs for transplantation seems likely to be solved by using animal sources. Pigs are the best bet (because they are easy to breed and their organs are very similar to humans'), but the problem is the severe, hyperacute rejection reaction (Science 1994;266:1148-51). Genetic engineering of pigs to express inhibitors of the complement system may solve that problem: 1995 is seen by researchers as the pivotal year for xenografting.

Most doctors believe that constipation is the main cause of piles. A study reported in the “American Journal of Gastroenterology” (1994; 89:1981-6) found no association—nor were piles linked with increasing age, cirrhosis of the liver, or varicose veins. The positive associations were with recurrent diarrhoea and obesity.

Around half of all patients who develop recurrences after surgery for colorectal cancer have metastases only in the liver, and with improvements in surgical techniques around one third of such patients may be cured by resection of the tumours (British Journal of Surgery 1994; 81:1553-4). Any further recurrence in the liver may be treated …

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