Pig Kidney Transplantation news

Pig Kidney Transplantation | Surgeons in the United States have successfully tested a pig kidney transplant in a human patient.

Pig Kidney Transplantation news: A pig kidney has been transplanted into a person for the first time without the recipient’s immune system rejecting it right away, a potentially important breakthrough that might someday help ease a critical scarcity of human organs for transplant.

A pig whose genes had been changed such that its tissues no longer carried a chemical known to induce virtually instantaneous rejection was used in the operation at NYU Langone Health in New York City.

According to Reuters, the receiver was a brain-dead woman with indications of renal disease whose family agreed to the experiment before she was to be taken off life support.

The replacement kidney was connected to her blood arteries and kept outside her body for three days, allowing researchers access to it.

Pig Kidney Transplantation news

The function of the transplanted kidney was tested. Dr. Robert Montgomery, the study’s lead investigator, said the results “looked quite typical.”

According to him, the kidney produced “the volume of urine that you would anticipate” from a transplanted human kidney, and there was no sign of the robust, early rejection found in non-human primates when unaltered pig kidneys are implanted.

After the transplant, the recipient’s elevated creatinine level – an indication of impaired kidney function – recovered to normal, according to Montgomery.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, approximately 107,000 people in the United States are waiting for organ transplants, with more than 90,000 of them waiting for a kidney. The usual wait period for a kidney transplant is three to five years.

Researchers have been working on the prospect of utilising animal organs for transplants for decades, but they have been hindered by the question of how to avoid instant rejection by the human body.

Montgomery’s team hypothesised that removing the pig gene for a carbohydrate that causes rejection – alpha-gal, a sugar molecule or glycan – would solve the problem.

United Therapeutics Corp’s (UTHR.O) Revivicor unit created the genetically engineered pig, called GalSafe. The United States Food and Drug Administration authorised it in December 2020 for use as a meat-free food and as a possible source of human medicines.

The FDA stated that medical goods produced from pigs would still require particular FDA clearance before being utilised in humans.

Other scientists are looking into whether GalSafe pigs might be used to make everything from heart valves to skin grafts for human patients.

According to Montgomery, who received a heart transplant himself, the NYU kidney transplant experiment should pave the way for studies in patients with end-stage renal failure in the next year or two. The method may be used as a temporary treatment for severely ill patients until a human kidney becomes available, or as a permanent graft in such studies.

Because the present study only involved a single kidney transplant and the kidney was only left in place for three days, any future trials are likely to reveal additional challenges, according to Montgomery. Patients having a low chance of getting a human kidney and a bad prognosis on dialysis would most likely be participants.

“We don’t think twice about utilising new medications and conducting new studies (with cancer patients) when it could offer them a couple of months longer life,” Montgomery said.

Before asking a family for temporary access to a brain-dead patient, the researchers consulted with medical ethicists, legal, and religious experts to assess the notion, Montgomery said.