US Surgeons Successfully Transplant A Pig Kidney Into A Human For The First Time

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US Surgeons Successfully Transplant A Pig Kidney Into A Human For The First Time

Surgeons in the United States say they have carried out the first-ever pig to human kidney transplant, a move that could save the lives of thousands of people who are on the kidney transplant waiting lists.


The kidney came from a pig that was genetically modified to have kidneys that were suitable for human transplant. The individual receiving the transplant is however already brain-dead and being kept alive artificially. Despite this, the fact that the body has not rejected the transplant indicates that it will be successful in other patients.


Pig to human transplants are not uncommon, and pig heart valves have been used for transplants for years.


Lead investigator Dr Robert Montgomery told the BBC's World Tonight:


"We observed a kidney that basically functioned like a human kidney transplant, that appeared to be compatible in as much as it did all the things that a normal human kidney would do. It functioned normally, and did not appear to be undergoing rejection."


Adding:


"The traditional paradigm that someone has to die for someone else to live is never going to keep up. I certainly understand the concern and what I would say is that currently about 40% of patients who are waiting for a transplant die before they receive one. We use pigs as a source of food, we use pigs for medicinal uses - for valves, for medication. I think it's not that different."


Dr Maryam Khosravi, a UK doctor specialising in kidneys also told the show:


"Animal to human transplantation has been something that we have studied for decades now, and it's really interesting to see this group take that step forward. Just because we can doesn't mean we should. I think the community at large needs to answer these questions."


While an NHS spokesperson stated:


"There is still some way to go before transplants of this kind become an everyday reality. While researchers and clinicians continue to do our best to improve the chances for transplant patients, we still need everyone to make their organ donation decision and let their family know what they want to happen if organ donation becomes a possibility."


[Based on reporting by: BBC]


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Thinking Humanity: US Surgeons Successfully Transplant A Pig Kidney Into A Human For The First Time
US Surgeons Successfully Transplant A Pig Kidney Into A Human For The First Time
Surgeons in the United States say they have carried out the first ever pig to human kidney transplant, a move that could save the lives of thousands o
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