Pig’s kidney transplanted into brain dead man survives for 2 months in staggering world-first

A pig’s kidney has been successfully transplanted into a human.

The transplanted kidney survived for two months from a brain-dead donor.

A man's kidney from a pig survived for two months


A man’s kidney from a pig survived for two monthsPhoto credit: SWNS
The transplant was the longest documented of its kind


The transplant was the longest documented of its kindPhoto credit: SWNS
Maurice Miller's donated body made the breakthrough possible


Maurice Miller’s donated body made the breakthrough possiblePhoto credit: SWNS

The kidney was genetically modified and observed for 61 days before it was removed from the donor and life support was removed so the man’s body could be returned to his family.

The transplant was the longest documented of its kind and the fifth transplant between an animal and a human, known as xenotransplantation, performed by New York University’s Langone Transplant Institute.

“We have learned a lot in the last two months of close observation and analysis, and there is good reason to be hopeful for the future,” said Dr. Robert Montgomery.

“None of this would have been possible without the incredible support we received from our late recipient’s family. Thanks to them, we were able to gain critical insight into xenotransplantation as a hopeful solution to the national organ shortage.”

The transplant team managed to remove a gene that causes rapid rejection of pig organs in humans.

They also fused the pig’s thymus gland, which forms its immune system, with the kidney to delay immune reactions.

The kidney functioned normally for a month before the donor’s body began to reject it. The transplant team was able to reverse this with medication and the organ was healthy and normal again after removal.

Regardless, this was a major breakthrough as previous pig organ transplants required up to ten genetic changes, while the last one required only one.

Tissue samples taken also revealed new cellular changes not previously observed.

“To create a sustainable and unlimited supply of organs, we need to know how to handle pig organs transplanted into humans,” said Dr. Montgomery.

“If we test them on a deceased person, we can optimize the immunosuppression regimen and selection of gene edits without endangering a living patient.”

The transplant took place on June 14 and was taken on September 13 from 58-year-old Maurice Miller, who was kept on life support on a ventilator with his family’s permission after being declared brain dead.

The first transplant of this type was performed in September 2021 by Dr. Montgomery, and NYU Langone surgeons also specialize in pig heart transplants.

Aila Slisco

Aila Slisco is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: ailaslisco@dailynationtoday.com.

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