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First genetically edited pig kidney transplanted into living human

Surgeons at the Massachusetts General Hospital transplanted a pig kidney into a 62-year-old man over the weekend.
First genetically edited pig kidney transplanted into living human
Posted at 2:01 PM, Mar 21, 2024

For the first time, doctors have successfully transplanted a genetically edited pig kidney into a living human.

Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital took the kidney and transplanted it into a 62-year-old man with end-stage kidney disease.

The surgery took four hours and was completed on Saturday. The patient, Richard Slayman of Massachusetts, is recovering and will be discharged soon, the hospital announced in a press release Thursday morning.

The pig kidney was modified using CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, allowing researchers to add human genes to improve the compatibility, and remove harmful pig genes.

The transplant was done under a single FDA expanded access protocol, which allows for investigational medical products or procedures to be used on a patient with a life-threatening disease or condition.

SEE MORE: Pig kidney works in a donated body for over a month

This is not the first time a genetically edited pig kidney has been put in a human body.

Last year, doctors at NYU Langone Health successfully completed a pig kidney xenotransplantation into a man who had been declared brain-dead and was maintained on a ventilator.

The pig kidney functioned for months.

Advocates say this is a potential solution for the worldwide organ shortage.

More than 103,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ transplant as of March 21, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.

Close to 90,000 people are waiting for a kidney donation, according to Donate Life America.

Those who oppose procedures like this say it’s harming animals and dangerous to human health.

Last year, the nonprofit People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, wrote in a press release, “These experimenters are harming animals, exploiting a human who can’t speak for himself, and risking another pandemic. It’s impossible to ensure that organs from pigs do not harbor dangerous viruses.”

@scrippsnews Surgeons successfully completed the first gene-edited pig kidney transplant into a living human this week. With more than 90,000 Americans waiting for a kidney donation, advocates say this could be a possible solution. #pigkidneytohuman #kidneytransplant #organdonor ♬ original sound - Scripps News

SEE MORE: US investigating organ collection groups for potential fraud

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