In a desperate attempt to save the life of a 57-year-old man, doctors at the University of Maryland School of Medicine first completed a treatment. Per This past Friday, surgeons successfully transplanted a pig’s heart into a patient as part of an experimental procedure.
By doing this, they showed that the organs of a genetically modified animal can survive and function in the human body without immediate rejection. Three days after the procedure, David Bennett, who underwent surgery, is still alive and “doing well,” according to the hospital.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the procedure on a sympathetic basis. Bennett was ineligible for a traditional heart transplant and other options were exhausted. “Either die or be transplanted. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice, “he said in a statement before doctors operated on him.
Scientists have tried Save people with animal organs For decades. One of the most notable attempts was made in 1984 when doctors transplanted a baboon’s heart. , A baby born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The congenital disorder left his body unable to circulate blood properly. Baby Phi, as she is better known, survived 21 days before her body finally rejected the transplanted organ.
According to New York TimesWhat sets this latest procedure apart is that doctors have used a heart that has been genetically modified to remove four genes that encode a molecule that rejects the body as an orphan. They also inserted six human genes to make the immune system more tolerant of foreign tissues. Whether the test represents a breakthrough will depend on what happens next. Bennett’s body could still reject the pig’s heart. For the moment, however, he is alive, and doctors are understandably excited about what this could mean for patients.
“If it works, there will be an unlimited supply of these organs for suffering patients,” said Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin, scientific director of the genotransplantation program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The Associated Press. It will be a dramatic change from the status quo. According to , More than 100,000 people are on the waiting list for national transplants and 17 people die every day waiting for organ transplants.
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