MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH IN MEDICINE AS U.S. MAN RECOVERING AFTER PIG HEART TRANSPLANT.
Written by AIGBOKHAEBHO OKHUELEIGBE on January 11, 2022
A U.S. man with terminal heart disease was implanted with a genetically modified pig heart in a first-of-its-kind surgery, and three days later the patient is doing well, his doctors reported on Monday.
The surgery, performed by a team at the University of Maryland Medicine, is among the first to demonstrate the feasibility of a pig-to-human heart transplant, a field made possible by new gene-editing tools.
This is a major breakthrough in medicine, and if proven successful, scientists hope pig organs could help alleviate shortages of donor organs
To move ahead with the experimental surgery, the university obtained an emergency authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on New Year’s Eve through its compassionate use program.
About 110,000 Americans are currently waiting for an organ transplant, and more than 6,000 patients die each year before getting one, according to organdonor.gov.
Pigs have long been a tantalizing source of potential transplants because their organs are so similar to humans. A pig’s heart at the time of slaughter, for example, is about the size of an adult human heart.
Other organs from pigs being researched for transplantation into humans include kidneys, liver, and lungs.
Editor: Paul Akhagbemhe