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Cross-Species Transplant Success: Human Lives with Pig Kidney

A groundbreaking medical achievement took place at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston when doctors successfully performed a surgery on March 16. Richard Slayman, a 62-year man from Weymouth, Massachusetts became the person to receive a kidney from a genetically modified pig. Reportedly, the patient had been suffering from end-stage renal disease.

The surgery, which lasted four hours marks a step in providing organ options for patients according to an official statement from the hospital.


Mr. Slayman is said to be recovering after the surgery and is expected to be discharged soon as confirmed by hospital officials. Experts are eagerly awaiting the long-term results of this animal-to-human transplant. Dr. Jim Kim of the USC Transplant Institute in Los Angeles highlighted the importance of monitoring outcomes over time.

Previously Mr. Slayman had received a human kidney transplant at the hospital in 2018 following a period of dialysis. Unfortunately, the transplanted organ failed after five years leading him back, to dialysis treatments.


The kidney used in this procedure was obtained from eGenesis a company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The pig used for kidney donation had its genes modified to remove elements for recipients and to incorporate specific human genes for better compatibility. Additionally, eGenesis took steps to deactivate any pig viruses that could potentially infect humans.

The success of the surgery was attributed to medications designed to prevent rejection of the pig organ by the patient’s system including an antibody named tegoprubart developed by Eledon Pharmaceuticals.


Dr. Robert Montgomery, head of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute emphasized the advancements in xenotransplantation and its potential to address the need for organs among thousands of individuals with kidney failure.

What is End-stage renal disease?

End-stage renal disease refers to the permanent stage of kidney damage, where kidney functioning drops down drastically and kidneys fail to continue operating. Typically, at this stage dialysis is required according to the recommended intervals, or the kidneys are required to be transplanted.

A few common symptoms of end-stage renal disease include:

  • Decreased urination
  • Dry skin
  • Itchiness
  • Loss of weight
  • Nausea

Severe complications may affect other organs of the body including coronary artery disease, sexual dysfunction, cardiovascular disorders, disorders of the bones, and anemia.

What is Xenotransplantation?

Transplanting living organs, tissues, or cells from one species to another, particularly from nonhuman animals to humans. The advancement is a result of the rising demand for human organs for transplantation purposes. Recently Xenotransplantation has been viewed as a viable option and a promising solution for tackling and alleviating the crisis of organ shortage. More research and advancements may bring breakthrough opportunities in the field.  

Source: Inputs from various media Sources

the aartery chronicles

Priya Bairagi

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