(Washington) – After performing a surgical procedure on a genetically modified pig kidney on a brain-dead human for a record period of two months, the American scientific team that performed this transplant announced on Thursday that it had completed the experiment as planned.
The doctor added: “We have learned a lot over the past two months through detailed observations and analyses, and we have good reason to be optimistic about the future.”s Robert Montgomery, director of the Transplant Institute at NYU Langone Hospital in New York, where the procedure was performed.
Transplants of animal organs into humans, called xenografts, could provide a solution to the chronic shortage of kidney donors. There are currently more than 100,000 Americans on the waiting list for an organ transplant, with nearly 88,000 waiting for a kidney.
On July 14, a pig kidney was transplanted into a brain-dead man who donated his body to science. The pig has been genetically modified so that the human body does not reject the organ immediately.
While after a month no sign of rejection was observed, scientists indicated on Thursday that a mild rejection process was observed later, requiring intensification of immunosuppressive treatments.
More results will be published in the coming months, the NYU Langone statement said.
This team has performed several xenografts in recent years, including the first pig kidney transplant into a human in September 2021. But all of their experiments so far have been very short.
The experiment conducted this summer lasted for 61 days, a record.
“To create an unlimited supply of organs, we must learn how to manage pig organ transplants into humans,” says Dr.s Robert Montgomery. “Testing it in deceased patients allows us to improve the immunosuppression system, and select for genetic modifications, in order to make future trials safer.”
Further experiments are scheduled to be conducted on the deceased.
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