Two More Gene-Edited Pig Hearts Were Just Successfully Transplanted Into Humans


The second significant advancement in pig-human heart xenotransplantation this year occurred with the successful implantation of two genetically altered pig hearts into humans.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Dr. Robert Montgomery, the head of NYU Langone Transplant Institute, where the transplantations took place, stated, "It was one of the most astounding sights, to see a pig heart thumping away and beating within a human chest."

Mid-June saw the first transplant, and July 6 saw the completion of the second.

There's a catch, though. The two transplant recipients had already passed away from brain death, but their hearts were kept pumping so they could receive the pig organs. Before pig-to-human transplant treatments became commonplace, dependable choices for patients on lengthy waiting lists for hearts, kidneys, and other essential organs, it will probably take years.

The heart transplant patient Montgomery remarked, "There will be an iterative process of learning and altering approaches."

Nevertheless, the physician is optimistic that pig organs will eventually develop into a "renewable, sustainable source of organs, so no one will have to die waiting."

In the next years, further human experiments may really take place.

At the University of Maryland, the first known transplant of a human heart from a pig into a living patient was finished in January. The recipient of the transplant was a 57-year-old man with a fatal cardiac condition.

The day before his operation, David Bennett Sr., the patient, remarked, "It was either die, or do this transplant." "I realize it's a long shot, but it's my final resort," the speaker said.

Two months later, Bennett's replacement pig heart stopped working. The surgeon who performed the treatment told The New York Times that although the DNA of a pig virus was later found in the heart, there was no indication of an ongoing infection.

Montgomery stated, "We don't really know why that heart failed and why he passed away. In light of this, he contends that more study on deceased donors is necessary before conducting additional live xenotransplantation experiments.

Dr. Chris Colbert, an emergency room physician from Chicago who was not involved in the study, told Insider after learning of the findings, "This is a major, huge step in the right way." It's not just an organ; it's a match of organs.

Because they were created with 10 genetic alterations, the two pig hearts that were transplanted at NYU this summer were able to operate for at least 72 hours inside human bodies. Six of the gene changes were human transgenes created to improve compatibility between human and pig components, while four were porcine gene edits to avoid transplant rejection and aberrant growth.

Dr. Preethi Pirlamarla, a heart transplant cardiologist at Mount Sinai in New York who was not involved in the NYU research, told Insider that "it really is the next frontier in transplant therapy." "The fact that we can even think about this is truly just a contemporary wonder,"

Within a decade, routine pig-to-human heart transplants may be "quite plausible."

Before pig-human heart transplants can become commonplace, according to Prilamarla, medical professionals must learn more about how to make modified pig organs more compatible with live, moving human bodies so the recipients won't reject them. Additionally, she warned, surgeons and researchers will need to take precautions to "avoid transmitting any unexpected illness that would be in the pig, and would then get transferred along to the human."

She said, though, that she wouldn't be shocked if heart transplants from pigs to humans become regular in her line of work.

"Do I anticipate that occurring in the coming year? I don't believe so "She said. "Do I see that happening in the next five to ten years? It seems pretty likely to me."

Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, there is a huge need for heart transplants.

To reduce waiting periods for life-saving organs, more measures might be used in addition to genetically engineered pig hearts. Members of Congress from both parties are already asking for "long overdue" reforms of the federal Organ Procurement Organizations, which are in charge of distributing organs all across the country. These organizations are "underperforming" and even "failing."

Two More Gene-Edited Pig Hearts Were Just Successfully Transplanted Into Humans Two More Gene-Edited Pig Hearts Were Just Successfully Transplanted Into Humans Reviewed by Blogger on July 13, 2022 Rating: 5
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