(Worthy News) – In September, a surgical team at NYU Langone Health performed the first successful animal-to-human transplant. Led by Dr. Robert Montgomery, the team attached a pig kidney to blood vessels on the exterior of a brain-dead patient’s leg. The animal biotechnology company Revivicor provided a genetically engineered pig for the experiment. The animal lacked the gene encoding the sugar molecule alpha-gal, known to trigger immediate organ rejection in humans.
The transplanted pig kidney started working immediately. It functioned normally over a 54-hour observation period, removing waste and producing urine. It also lowered high creatinine levels caused by the patient’s poor kidney function.
Animal-to-human transplants, or xenotransplants, have the potential to shorten organ transplant waiting lists. Over 100,000 people in the United States are on the kidney transplant waiting list, according to the National Kidney Foundation. But xenotransplantation technology is far from receiving U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for use in human trials. Researchers still need to assess the long-term viability of pig organs in humans and the possibility of a deadly virus transferring from animal to person. [ Source: WNG (Read More…) ]