He will not have survived. The second patient in the world to have received a heart transplant from a genetically modified pig died six weeks after his operation, and a year and a half after the death of the first patientannounced the American medical center which performed the operation.
Lawrence Faucette, 58, had been deemed ineligible for a human heart transplant due to advanced heart disease, with a pig heart transplant being “the only option,” according to a University of Maryland news release. located in the United States, published Tuesday.
“We mourn the loss of Mr. Faucette, a remarkable patient, scientist, Navy veteran and family man who simply wanted to spend a little more time with his wife, sons and family,” said the surgeon who performed the operation.
Signs of rejection
While the graft initially appeared to take, the patient began showing signs of rejection in recent days, the University of Maryland noted.
The establishment had already carried out the world’s first transplant of a genetically modified pig’s heart into a humanin January 2022.
The transplantation had raised high hopes, because such xenografts – from an animal to a human – could potentially help address the shortage of organ donations. Currently, more than 100,000 Americans are on the waiting list for a transplant.
The hope of xenograft
These xenografts represent a real challenge because the recipient’s immune system tends to attack the foreign organ. It is to reduce this risk that pig organs are genetically modified. For many, pigs represent ideal organ donors because of their size, rapid growth and litters of many young.
Kidney transplants from genetically modified pigs have recently also been carried out on brain dead patients. The Transplant Institute at NYU Langone Hospital in New York announced in September that a pig kidney transplanted into a brain-dead patient functioned for a record 61 days.