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Surgeons transplant pig kidney to US patient, hospital says | Radio-Canada News

A 62-year-old man with end-stage renal disease became the first human to receive a new kidney from a genetically modified pig, doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston announced Thursday.

The four-hour operation, performed on March 16, marks a major milestone in the quest to provide more easily accessible organs to patients, the hospital said. said in a statement.

The patient, Richard Slayman of Weymouth, Massachusetts, is recovering well and is expected to be released soon, the hospital said.

Slayman had received a human kidney transplant at the same hospital in 2018 after seven years of dialysis, but the organ failed after five years and he returned to dialysis treatments.

The kidney was provided by eGenesis of Cambridge, Massachusetts, from a pig that had been genetically modified to remove genes that might be harmful to a human recipient and add some human genes to improve compatibility.

Additionally, the company has inactivated certain viruses inherent in pigs that can infect humans.

WATCH | Progress of pig kidney transplantation:

‘The most beautiful thing,’ transplant surgeon says of successful pig-to-human kidney transplant

Richard Slayman, 62, received a genetically modified pig kidney. Medical staff who oversaw the operation at Massachusetts General Hospital hailed the procedure’s success as a future path toward equity among patients in need of kidneys.

“I saw it not only as a way to help myself, but also as a way to give hope to the thousands of people who need a transplant to survive,” said Slayman, systems manager at Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Difficult case

Dr. Tatsuo Kawai, the transplant surgeon, said the team believed the pig kidney would work for at least two years.

Slayman’s kidney specialist, Dr. Winfred Williams, said that even before his first transplant, Slayman struggled on dialysis and needed dozens of procedures to try to remove clots and restore blood flow.

Williams said Slayman became “increasingly discouraged and depressed because of his dialysis situation.” At one point…he literally said, “I just can’t keep doing this.”

Previously, pig kidneys were temporarily transplanted into brain dead people.

Kidneys from similarly modified pigs bred by eGenesis were successfully transplanted into monkeys that were kept alive for an average of 176 days, and in one case for more than two years, researchers reported in October in the newspaper. Nature magazine.

Drugs used to help prevent rejection of the pig organ by the patient’s immune system included an experimental antibody treatment called tegoprubart.

The pig kidney procedure brings the field of xenotransplantation – the transplantation of organs or tissues from one species to another – closer to becoming a potential solution to the global organ shortage.

WATCH | Pig heart transplanted into humans:

Man receives genetically modified pig heart

In a medical first, surgeons have successfully transplanted a genetically modified pig’s heart into an American man in a last-ditch effort to save his life.

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, more than 100,000 people in the United States are waiting for an organ to transplant, with kidneys being the most in demand. In 2022 in Canadanearly 1,800 kidneys were transplanted, more than 2,800 more were waiting and 117 died before they could receive one.

Paul Keown, an immunology and transplantation specialist and professor in the department of medicine at the University of British Columbia, called the hospital’s announcement a truly exceptional advance in biology and medicine given the urgent need for organs in humans.

“Canada has particularly focused on the issue of tolerance towards indigenous human organs and induced that, meaning we would then not need to resort to immune suppression at all,” Keown said.

Keown said he anticipated more xenotransplantations would be carried out over the next decade and hoped advances in porcine organs and tolerance would come together.

Ethicists say other considerations include the possibility of swine viruses spreading to humans and killing animals to save people.

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