Surgeons transplanted a pig kidney into a brain-dead person and it functioned normally for more than a month, a significant step toward an operation the New York team hopes to eventually try on living patients Is.

Scientists across the country are racing to learn how to use animal parts to save human lives, and bodies donated for research provide a remarkable rehearsal.

The latest experiment, announced Wednesday by NYU Langone Health, shows that a pig’s kidney functions the longest in a person, even when it’s dead — and it’s not over. The researchers set out to track kidney performance for another month.

Will this organ really work like a human organ? So far it looks like it, Dr. Robert Montgomery, director of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute, told The Associated Press.

It looks even better than a human kidney, Montgomery said on July 14 after he replaced a kidney from a deceased person with a single kidney from a genetically modified pig and saw it start producing urine immediately.

The possibility that pig kidneys could one day help ease a severe shortage of transplantable organs inspired the family of 57-year-old Maurice Moe Miller of New York to donate his body for the experiment.

“I had to deal with it,” his sister Mary Miller-Duffy told the AP. But he loved helping others and I think that’s what my brother would have wanted too. So I presented my brother to him.

“He will be in the medical books and he will live forever,” he said.

It’s the latest in a series of developments renewing hope for animal-to-human transplants, or xenotransplantation, after decades of failure because people’s immune systems attacked foreign tissue. What’s different this time: The pigs are being genetically modified so that their organs better match those of the human body.

Last year, surgeons at the University of Maryland made history by transplanting a gene-edited pig heart into a dying man who had no other options.

For reasons that are not fully understood but that provide lessons for future efforts, he lived only two months before his organs failed.

Now, the Food and Drug Administration is considering whether to allow some small but rigorous studies of pig heart or kidney transplants in volunteer patients.

And it’s important to answer some remaining questions in a setting where we’re not putting anyone’s life at risk, said Montgomery, an NYU kidney transplant surgeon who also performed his own heart transplant and needed a new source of organs. know about in depth. ,

The country’s transplant list includes more than 100,000 patients, and thousands of patients die each year while waiting.

Previously, a team from NYU and the University of Alabama at Birmingham tested pig kidney transplants in recipients who had been dead for only two or three days.

A team from NYU used pig hearts transplanted into donated bodies for an intense three-day test.

But how do pig organs react to a more typical human immune attack that takes about a month to build up? Only longer testing can tell.

Montgomery said, “The surgery itself is no different from the thousands of surgeries he’s performed, but the enormity of what you’re doing is somewhere in your head…recognizing that it will have a huge impact on the future of transplants.” May have.”

The operation was carefully timed. Early that morning, Dr. Adam Griesemer and Jeffrey Stern flew hundreds of miles to a facility where Virginia-based Revivicor Inc. housed genetically modified pigs and retrieved kidneys lacking a gene which would trigger immediate destruction by the human immune system.

As they raced back to NYU, Montgomery was extracting both kidneys from a donated body, so there was never any doubt whether the soon-to-be-coming pig version was working.

One pig kidney was transplanted, the other was stored for comparison at the end of the experiment.

You’re always nervous, Griesemer said. It was thrilling and a great relief to see it kickstart so quickly.

Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin of the University of Maryland cautions that it is unclear how closely a cadaver will mimic a living patient’s reactions to a pig organ, but the research educates the public about xenotransplantation so that when Don’t be surprised if the time comes to try again. stay.

(Only the headline and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content was auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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