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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Modified pig kidney successfully transplanted into humans

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A genetically edited pig kidney has been successfully transplanted into a human for the first time. Several weeks after the operation, the man feels well. This offers hope for potential access to more organ transplants in the future.

A pig kidney was transplanted into a patient
Surgeons Nahel Elias (left) and Tatsuo Kawai (right) perform a landmark pig kidney transplant on a patient

Richard Slayman, 62, of Weymouth, Massachusetts, is facing end-stage kidney disease. Having agreed to the operation, he received a gene-edited pork kidney on March 16 at Massachusetts General Hospital. Last week it was reported that the patient was recovering and would soon be discharged.

“I saw this not only as a way to help myself, but also as an opportunity to give hope to thousands of people who need a transplant to survive,” Sleiman said after the operation.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, in 2023 alone, nearly 90,000 patients in the United States were awaiting a new kidney transplant, and only 16,000 were able to receive new organs. At the same time, 17 people die every day while waiting for a transplant.

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