Groundbreaking Kidney Transplant from Genetically Modified Pig


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Successful Kidney Transplant from Genetically Modified Pig

A groundbreaking medical milestone was achieved at NYU Langone Health when a 54-year-old woman received a kidney transplant from a genetically modified pig. This remarkable procedure marked the second instance of such a transplant, announced by surgeons at NYU Langone Health in New York.

Patient’s Condition and Surgical Procedures

The recipient, Lisa Pisano, was severely ill, suffering from both heart failure and kidney failure. On April 12, she underwent the kidney transplant just eight days after receiving a mechanical heart pump, vital for her survival. The skilled surgical teams at NYU Langone Health successfully performed both procedures within a span of nine days.

Genetically Engineered Pig Organ

The kidney used in the transplant was sourced from a genetically engineered pig provided by United Therapeutics Corporation, a leading biotech company. This pig had a specific gene responsible for producing a sugar named alpha-gal effectively ‘knocked out,’ minimizing the risk of severe immune reactions that can lead to immediate rejection of transplanted animal organs, a process known as xenotransplantation.

Unique Immune System Adaptation

As part of the innovative approach, the surgeons at NYU Langone Health also placed the pig’s thymus gland along with the transplanted kidney. This strategic placement aims to reprogram the recipient’s immune system, reducing the likelihood of rejection and enhancing the success of the transplant.

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