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Premi&egrave ;medical mother: a pig kidney transplanted into a human

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Surgeons carry out the transplantation of a genetically modified pig kidney in a living human being.

Agence France-Presse

Surgeons have transplanted a kidney from a genetically modified pig into a living patient, a first that represents a new step towards a potential solution to the chronic shortage of organ donations, announced the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in the United States.

The patient, aged 62, suffered from chronic renal failure. He is recovering well from the four-hour operation that took place less than a week ago, on March 16.

Kidneys from genetically modified pigs had already been transplanted – and they worked – into brain-dead humans.

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The pig kidney moments before transplantation.

Living patients have also previously received heart transplants from genetically modified pigs, but then died .

The doctors carefully explained the pros and cons of the procedure to me, said the patient, Richard Slayman, of the city of Weymouth, Massachusetts.

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I saw this as a way not only to help me , but also to give hope to thousands of people who need a transplant to survive, he added, quoted in the press release.

He should be able to leave the hospital soon. He had already received a human kidney transplant, but had to return to dialysis since May 2023.

More than 100,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. The kidney is the most commonly required organ.

The field of xenografts – transplantation of animal organs into human humans – moving forward at high speed in recent years.

The world first of a pig kidney transplant into a brain-dead human was carried out in September 2021, by surgeons at NYU Langone Hospital in New York.

The kidney here was provided by the company eGenesis.

This operation represents a new frontier in medicine and demonstrates the potential of genome editing to change the lives of millions of patients around the world who suffer from kidney failure, said Mike Curtis, CEO of eGenesis. /p>

Xenografts are challenging because the recipient's immune system tends to attack the foreign organ.

Genetic modifications are carried out to reduce the risk of rejection: some pig genes have been removed and human genes have been added using CRISPR technology .

Scientists also carried out the &x27; inactivation of pig retroviruses to eliminate the risk of infection after the transplant, explains the press release.

The success of this transplant is the ;the culmination of the efforts of thousands of scientists and doctors over several decades, underlined Tatsuo Kawai, surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital.

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