About the first transplant of pig kidney to human
The news of a pig kidney transplant to a human is an early success in realizing the dream of using animal organs for patients in need of a transplant.
Surgeons in New York have successfully transplanted a kidney made from a genetically modified pig into a brain-dead patient. The kidney worked until the end of the two-day test without evidence of transplant rejection. The experiment showed that linking patients to animal organs with genetic modification could become a reality in the near future.
The idea of using animal organs in humans has long roots in human history. On the head of the Gate of Nations in Persepolis there is a creature with a human head while the rest of its limbs are of different animals. This creature is today the motto of the World Association of Organ Transplantation.
In the 11th century AD, Jorjani describes the disease in his book Khwarazmshahi Reserve, in which the fracture of his skull was treated with the skull bone of a dog.
With the successful completion of the first kidney transplant in 1954, the idea of using animal organs was revived. In the United States, several human-to-human transplants of chimpanzee liver and heart were performed, all of which failed due to rapid rejection. The idea was forgotten for decades because it was difficult to make genetic changes in animal organs to reduce transplant rejection. But today the technology of genetic change is so advanced that these changes can be done in a few months. Recently, with these genetic changes, raised pigs whose organs function in the monkey’s body (which is genetically very close to humans) for about a year without transplant rejection. The use of the kidneys, liver, and heart of such modified pigs has given rise to the hope that patients in need may be kept alive for several months to provide a suitable organ.
Organ transplantation is the most effective way to treat organ failure today. Unfortunately, many patients will die due to lack of transplant organs. The use of animal organs with genetic modification will make the hope of recovery of these patients a reality.
Although this success in transplanting pig kidneys into humans is a very promising step, it brings with it great challenges, such as its ethical arguments and the possibility of transmitting the infection from animal to human.
Although the idea of using animal limbs to treat human disease is not new, it seems that the recent success is an important step in realizing this dream.
Dr. Reza Saidi Firoozabadi – Transplant surgeon