They discharge after the first patient to receive a kidney transplant from a genetically modified pig

After progressing satisfactorily, the first person to receive a kidney transplant from a genetically modified pig was discharged this Wednesday.

The release of Richard Slayman, 62, from the hospital comes just two weeks after the historic surgery, The New York Times reported.

Doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital indicated that Slayman's transplanted kidney was producing urine, removing waste products from his blood and helping balance his body fluids, in addition to other vital functions.

Before Slayman's successful operation, two previous organ transplants from genetically modified pigs failed.

In both cases they were patients who had received hearts and who died a few weeks after the surgical interventions. In one of the procedures, the person's immune system rejected the organ.

The transplant performed on Slayman, however, and the encouraging results constitute a milestone in medicine and possibly usher in an era of interspecies organ transplants, scientists have indicated.

“This moment, leaving the hospital today with one of the cleanest bills of health I have had in a long time, is one I have hoped would come for many years,” Slayman said in a statement issued by the hospital and cited by The New York. Times. “Now it is a reality.”

Slayman stated that he had received “exceptional care” at the medical facility and thanked the medical staff.

“Today is a new beginning, not only for me, but also for them,” he declared.

Slayman's kidneys had failed and he had been on dialysis before undergoing the four-hour operation on March 16 to receive the pig kidney, his nephrologist, Dr. Winfred Williams, associate chief of the division, said at the time. of nephrology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

More than 100,000 people in the United States are on the waiting list for a transplant, of which 90,000 need a kidney, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, a nonprofit organization that manages the American organ transplant system.

The successful operation performed on Slayman, without a doubt, brings organ transplants from animals to humans much closer to reality. also known as xenotransplantssaid Dr. David Klassen, medical director of the United Network for Organ Sharing, which administers the national organ transplant system.

“While there is still a lot of work to be done, I think the potential it has to benefit a large number of patients will be realized, and that was a question mark hanging over the field,” Dr. Klassen said, quoted by the Post.

It's still a question whether Slayman's immune system will eventually accept the new kidney, Klassen said.

He also explained that other events must occur for this type of transplant to become a norm: several patients would have to have successful organ transplant operations from animals to humans, and clinical trials should be carried out.

He commented that there are also “daunting” challenges, including the availability of organs from genetically modified animals and the cost of such interventions.

Xenotransplants are not approved by the FDA. Although it has been touted as a possible solution to the global organ shortage, It could be years before the procedure is widely usedsince much more data is needed.

“What we really want is to get to early clinical trials, where there are multiple patients receiving xenografts and multiple centers participating, so we can really test a hypothesis and see how safe it is and how well it works,” said Dr. Robert Montgomery, director of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute.