World’s 1st genetically edited pig kidney transplant into living human

Massachusetts: In a groundbreaking medical achievement, doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital have completed a successful kidney transplant using a pig kidney for a 62-year-old patient. This marks a major step forward in xenotransplantation.

The surgery, carried out on Saturday, is the first time a genetically modified pig kidney has been transplanted into a living person. Previous attempts involved temporary transplants into brain-dead donors, but this time, the kidney went directly to a living recipient.

 

 

The patient, Richard “Rick” Slayman from Weymouth, Massachusetts, had a kidney transplant in 2018 but faced complications last year, leading to a return to dialysis. When conventional treatments failed, his doctors suggested the innovative pig kidney transplant.

This milestone is significant in xenotransplantation, which aims to use animal organs to treat humans. Traditionally, the human immune system rejected foreign animal tissue, but recent advances, like genetic modifications in pigs, have renewed hopes of addressing the shortage of donated organs.

Currently, more than 100,000 people are waiting for organ transplants nationwide, with most needing kidneys. Sadly, many die each year while waiting for suitable donors.

The success of this pig kidney transplant brings hope to those awaiting organ transplants, potentially changing how end-stage organ failure is treated. As medical science progresses, breakthroughs like this could make life-saving treatments more accessible to everyone.

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