A pig kidney worked on a human for two months, a record

2023-09-14 19:17:36

After having operated the kidney of a genetically modified pig on a brain-dead human for a record period of two months, the American scientific team which carried out this transplantation announced on Thursday that it had, as planned, put an end to the experience.

“We have learned a lot over the past two months through detailed observations and analysis, and we have good reason to be optimistic about the future,” Dr. Robert Montgomery, director of the Institute, said in a statement. Transplant Center at NYU Langone Hospital in New York, where the procedure was performed.

Such transplants of animal organs into humans, called xenografts, could offer a solution to the chronic shortage of kidney donations. More than 100,000 Americans are currently on the waiting list for an organ transplant, including nearly 88,000 waiting for a kidney.

On July 14, a pig’s kidney was transplanted into a brain-dead man who had donated his body to science. The pig had been genetically modified so that the organ would not be immediately rejected by the human body.

While after a month, no sign of rejection had been observed, the scientists indicated on Thursday that a mild rejection process had subsequently been observed, which required the intensification of immunosuppressive treatments.

More results will be released in the coming months, the NYU Langone release said.

Several xenografts have been carried out by this team in recent years, including the world first of a pig kidney transplant into a human, in September 2021. But all their trials until now had been quite short.

The experiment carried out this summer lasted 61 days in total, a record.

“To create an unlimited supply of organs, we must learn how to manage organ transplants from pigs to humans,” Dr. Robert Montgomery reiterated Thursday. “Testing them in deceased patients allows us to optimize the immunosuppressive regimen, and the choice of gene modifications, to make future trials safer.”

Other trials on deceased people are planned.

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