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Surgeons at the University of Alabama in Birmingham have successfully transplanted kidneys from a genetically altered pig into a person for the first time.
The patient, a 57-year-old male, had his kidneys cut down for two pig kidneys. It took around 23 minutes for them to start working.
However, one kidney performed better than the other. The patient’s immune system rejected neither.
It’s the closest surgeons have been in this mission since September, when physicians at NYU Langone linked a pig’s kidney to a brain-dead patient on a ventilator.
They claimed that the kidney functioned adequately for 54 hours, which was a milestone at the time. Dr. Jayme Locke, director of UAB’s Incompatible Kidney Transplant Program, stated:
“This game-changing moment in the history of medicine represents a paradigm shift and a major milestone in the field of xenotransplantation, which is arguably the best solution to the organ shortage crisis,”
NYU doctors successfully tested pig kidney transplantation in a human patient. Locke further said his work provides data that could not be obtained testing on animals and moves us closer to a future where organ supply matches the enormous demand.
She added using brain-dead patients, for this reason, is not unusual since if it worked for them, it should work for healthy individuals as well.
“The brain death environment is quite hostile, making assessment of kidney function difficult (e.g. urine output, creatinine clearance), and is not surprising given that even in human-to-human transplantation kidneys from brain-dead donors often … do not make urine for a week and take several more weeks to clear creatinine.”
This is the most recent advance in the continuous endeavor to achieve animal-human organ transplantation, also known as xenotransplantation, to address the growing need for viable organs.
Animal-to-Human Organ Transplant no Longer Incredible Fiction
Doctors at the University of Maryland completed a heart transplant from another genetically modified pig into a 57-year-old patient with heart failure last week. The patient survived the surgery and is still being monitored.
Doctors at the University of Maryland UAB released a report on their endeavor, which took place on September 30, in the American Publication of Transplantation, marking the first time pig-to-human organ transplantation has been highlighted in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
According to Dr. Locke, their operation is more a proof-of-concept that pig-to-human transplanting works.
She intends to start a modest clinical study with live, aware patients by the end of the year, and she expects to be able to donate pig kidneys to her patients within five years.
According to the New York Times, Locke said it would be such a lovely day when I go into the clinic knowing I have a kidney for everyone waiting to see me.
A Beloved Father
Their report also honored Jim Parsons, a transplant patient who was a registered organ donor at his death, and thanked his family members for their permission.
Parsons died from a head injury sustained in a motorbike accident on September 26 during a race.
This pioneering surgery took place with the support of their three children, Ally, David, and Cole, and the Parsons family, Parsons’ ex-wife, Julie O’Hara; his family said that Jim would have wanted to save as many as people as he could with his death. If he knew he could potentially save thousands and thousands of people by doing this, he would have had no hesitation. They added that their wish is no other person dies while waiting for a kidney, and Jim’s death possibly provides so much hope to others.
Kidney disease is the most significant cause of death in the United States.
According to the United States Renal Data System, doctors conduct more than 20,000 kidney transplants in the United States each year; however, the waiting list is far longer.
Every day, roughly 12 individuals die while waiting for a kidney, according to the National Kidney Foundation.