A pig kidney was transplanted into a living person for the first time: details

A pig kidney was transplanted into a living person for the first time: details

For the first time, a pig kidney was transplanted into a living person

Mass General News

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Doctors in Boston transplanted a genetically modified pig kidney to a 62-year-old patient for the first time.

About this reported at Massachusetts General Hospital.

The 4-hour operation was performed on March 16 by surgeons from the Mass General Transplant Center. They transplanted a genetically edited pig kidney with 69 genomic changes into a living person.

The organ was engineered using CRISPR-Cas9 technology to remove harmful pig genes and add certain human genes to improve compatibility.

In addition, the scientists inactivated the endogenous pig retroviruses in the pig donors to eliminate any risk of human infection.

“Nearly seven decades after the first successful kidney transplant, our clinicians have once again demonstrated our commitment to offer innovative treatments and help ease the burden of disease for patients,” said Ann Klibanski, MD and CEO of Mass General Brigham.

Richard “Rick” Sleiman, 62, has been a patient at the Mass Transplant Center for 11 years. His kidney was transplanted in 2018, after 7 years on dialysis. But the new donor organ “failed” after about five years.

When my transplanted kidney began to fail in 2023, I again trusted my medical team at MGH.

My nephrologist, Winfred Williams, MD, and the team at the transplant center suggested a pig kidney transplant, carefully explaining the pros and cons of the procedure. I saw this not only as a way to help me, but as a way to give hope to the thousands of people who need a transplant to survive”, said the patient who was transplanted with a genetically edited pig kidney.

The successful procedure on a living recipient is a historic milestone in the new field of xenotransplantation – the transplantation of organs or tissues from one species to another.

Dr. Williams noted that this operation is a breakthrough in the field, also because many ethnic minority patients do not have access to transplants due to the extreme shortage of donor organs.

The large number of organs obtained as a result of this technological advance could be of great importance to finally achieve equality in health care and offer the best solution to kidney failure for all patients in need.

I am grateful to Mr. Sleiman, who has been my patient for many years, for his courage in pioneering the field of transplantology“, the nephrologist added.

A pig kidney transplant is the third operation to transplant animal organs into a living person. notes CNN. However, the first two patients who transplanted hearts, died several weeks after receiving the organs.

We will remind, in 2023 surgeons in New York transplanted a kidney from a pig to a brain-dead person. The graft took root and worked normally for over a month.

Scientists also succeeded kidneys were grown inside pigswhich contained mainly human cells.

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