A Test of Pig Kidney Transplant in A Human Successfully Conducted in USA
Usage of Organs from Genetically Modified Animals Has Been Approved by The FDA for US Regulators
A team of general surgeons in the United States has been able to make a successful breakthrough as they have recently conducted a pig kidney transplant in a human, which is believed to ultimately solve the shortages of donor organs in humans. The recipient chosen for the pig kidney transplant had been recently pronounced brain dead, which means that the patient was already on artificial ventilator life support, with no future prospect of ever recovering from the state.
The kidney organ that had been utilized in the pig kidney transplant, developed through multiple genetic modifications, which would help the organ to stop being recognized as a foreign object or rejected by the human body.
Modifications and advancements in organ transplant
The work involving this recently conducted experimental surgery for a pig kidney transplant has not yet undergone peer review or has been published in any journal, although plans have already been made regarding that.
According to the experts, this experimental surgery is the most advanced research experimentation done so far in the field. However, a similar kind of testing has been done previously in non-human primates, but live humans have not yet been utilized until now.
The idea for using pig organs for transplant is not a completely newly generated idea, as Pig heart valves are already being used in live humans widely throughout the world. The organs of pigs are generally a good identical match for individuals as it has almost the same size.
During a surgical procedure for the pig kidney transplant, which lasted for about two hours, which was conducted at the New York University Langone Health medical center, the surgeons had been able to connect the donor kidney organ of the pig to the blood vessels of the recipient who was brain-dead to check and see of the organ would function properly once it is connected to fresh blood from the body, or the recipient would reject the organ.
After the procedure, the recipient was on continuous monitoring for about two and a half days, and numerous tests and checks were done in the time duration to confirm the certain diagnosis.
The lead investigator in the experimental study for pig kidney transplant stated that they had been able to observe the transplanted kidney to perform basic functions similar to that of a human kidney and appeared to be in compatibility with things that a normally functioning kidney would perform. The kidney functioned normally and has not yet appeared to be undergoing any rejection from the recipient’s body.
The surgeons on the case also transplanted a small amount of the thymus gland of the pig into the recipient’s body during the surgical procedure, alongside the kidney organ. They thought that this organ might be able to provide some help in stopping the human body from rejecting the transplanted kidney on a long-term basis by reducing the number of stray immune cells that might be able to interfere with the pig tissues.
Requirement for animal’s organ transplant
As a heart transplant recipient himself, the lead surgeon Dr. Robert Montgomery stated that there had been an urgent requirement for a finding of more body organs for individuals that are on the waiting list, although he has acknowledged his work regarding pig kidney transplant to be of a controversial nature.
He said that the traditional paradigm that a person has to die for another individual to live should not keep ongoing. He added that he certainly is able to understand the concerns that people might have, and he would say that about 40% that are waiting to get a transplant usually die before they are able to receive one. And he wants to change this.
There have been some major advancements in the medical field, through which the scientists are able to use pigs for medical usage similar to that when we use them as a source of food. Pigs are being used to get heart valves and medications in multiple areas across the world, and pig kidney transplants would not be different from it.
The research is currently in its early phase, and numerous studies are yet required to further authenticate the procedure that it would not be harmful to the human body. The pig kidney transplant research has provided the scientists with new confidence to further pursue this direction and move it into the clinic for more tests and trials.