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HomeNewsAmerican Surgeons Successfully Transplanted Pig Kidney To A Human Patient

American Surgeons Successfully Transplanted Pig Kidney To A Human Patient

First Successful Pig Kidney Transplantation To Human

The first-ever pig kidney transplantation to humans has been reported. The kidney transplantation did not trigger any instant rejection by the immune system of the recipient, making this a potential area to explore for addressing the organ shortage crisis.

The medical research was carried out at NYU Langone Health, New York City. The procedure comprised the usage of a genetically engineered pig whose tissue no longer has the immediate rejection-triggering molecule.

NYU Langone Health’s xenotransplant surgical team. Image Credits: Joe Carrotta, NYU Langone Health

A brain-dead individual having signs of kidney frailness was chosen as the recipient. The family of the patient agreed to the study prior to stopping life support, according to the statements of the scientists who were involved in the project.

For a period of 3 days, the kidney from the donor pig was sewed to the recipient’s blood vessels and was externally maintained, providing easy access to scientists.

Dr. Robert Montgomery, research supervisor, and the transplant surgeon stated that the test outcomes of the functions for the transplanted kidney were normal.

He added that the kidney was capable of making the expected quantity of urine as in the case of a transplanted human kidney. Also, it showed no early or vigorous rejection as usually observed for an unaltered pig kidney transplantation to non-human primates.

Montgomery mentioned that the abnormal creatinine level of the recipient, which is a sign of kidney dysfunction, returned back to a normal state following the transplantation.

According to the UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing), almost 107,000 individuals are currently for organ transplantation, including over 90,000 people for kidney transplants in the US. There is a lengthy waiting gap for kidney transplants and is generally around 3 to 5 years.

Scientists have been looking at the prospects of employing animal organs for transplantation for several decades, however, all were struggling to prevent early rejection by the human body’s immune system.

Montgomery’s group proposed that genetically altering the swine’s gene responsible for a production of a carbohydrate molecule that induces rejection- glycan or a sugar entity known as alpha-gal- would prevent the issue.

Revivicor unit of the (UTHR.O) developed GalSafe, the genetically engineered swine. It was authorized by the US FDA (Food & Drug Administration) last year by the month of December, for its usage as a good source of human therapeutics and as food for individuals having meat allergies.

First Successful Pig Kidney Transplantation
A genetically engineered swine kidney is prepared and cleaned for transplantation. Image Credits: Joe Carrotta, NYU Langone Health

Medical commodities made from swine would still need particular FDA authorization prior to human consumption, as per the statements of the agency.

Other scientists are looking at the possibility of using GalSafe as a source for everything from cardiac valves to skin grafts for transplantation in humans.

Montgomery, who is a heart transplant recipient himself remarked that the NYU animal kidney transplantation study must pave the way for clinical study in patients with critical dysfunctional conditions of the kidney, probably by the subsequent year or two. These clinical studies may assess the method as a short-term answer for end-stage individuals till permanent graft or till a human transplant becomes available

Montgomery claimed that as the present study comprised of a single transplant with a mere 3 days duration for keeping the donor’s kidney, upcoming studies are probably going to unravel new obstacles that have to be surpassed. Study participants will most likely be individuals with a poor prognosis upon dialysis and having low chances of getting a human kidney.

Montgomery disclosed that for many individuals, the death rate is as high as the case of a few cancers. They do not hesitate to use new therapies and carry out new trials (in individuals with cancer) as it may offer them some more time to live.

The transplanted swine kidney looks healthy. Image Credits: Joe Carrotta, NYU Langone Health

Montgomery confirmed that the scientists partnered with religious & legal experts and medical ethicists to appraise the concept prior to asking permission from a family member for provisional access to a brain-dead individual.


First Successful Pig Kidney Transplantation

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