The heart of a genetically modified pig transplanted into a human

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January 10, 2022

In a revolutionary operation that offers hope to people waiting for an organ transplant, the heart of a genetically modified pig was transplanted into a 57-year-old man who had heart disease in its final stages.

Patient David Bennett Sr. received his heart on Friday at the University of Maryland Medical Center. IN news, the school called the procedure “historic” and “the first transplant of its kind”.

The operation was carried out after the FDA granted an emergency permit for the transplant through the provision of extended access (compassionate use), the Medical Center said. Bennett was deemed unsuitable for a human heart transplant due to poor health, so a pig transplant was the only option.

“It was either to die or to have this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice, “Bennett said the day before the operation, according to the statement. “I’m looking forward to getting out of bed after I recover.”

“This was a revolutionary operation that brings us one step closer to resolving the organ shortage crisis. There are simply not enough human donor hearts available to meet the long list of potential recipients, ”said Bartley P. Griffith, MD, who transplanted a pig heart.

“We continue to be cautious, but we are also optimistic that this first operation in the world will provide an important new option for patients in the future.”

The Unified Organ Sharing Network he says more than 106,000 people have been on waiting lists for organ transplants since Monday. About 40,000 people were transplanted last year, of which about 3,800 were heart transplants. But due to organ shortages, 17 people die on waiting lists every day, according to the data U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Scientists hope that xenotransplantation – the implantation of organs from one species to another – will reduce organ shortages and prolong the lives of people on waiting lists. Last October, a the kidney grew in a genetically modified pig was transplanted into a person with brain death at NYU Langone Health in New York City.

The pig for heart transplantation was bred for just such a procedure by Revivicor, a regenerative medicine company based in Blacksburg, Va.

New York Times rreported that the pig had 10 genetic modifications to make the heart acceptable to humans. Some of the modifications are designed to prevent the growth of the heart after transplantation and to make the organ more tolerable to the human immune system, Time He said.

Last Friday, a surgical team removed a pig’s heart and put it in a machine that saved it until surgery. The team also used a new drug produced by Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals to prevent the human body from rejecting the pig’s heart, the medical school said.

Bennett is being closely monitored at the hospital. He’s still connected to the heart-lung bypass that kept him alive before the transplant, but the new heart is working, Time He said. Doctors said he should be taken off the bridge on Tuesday.

“This is a turning point,” said David Klassen, MD, chief medical officer of the United Organ Sharing Network. Time. “A door is beginning to open that will, I believe, lead to major changes in the way we treat organ failure.”

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