Patient with transplanted pig kidney leaves hospital and goes home

The first patient to receive a kidney transplant from a genetically modified pig was doing so well that he was released from hospital on Wednesday, just two weeks after the groundbreaking operation.

The transplant and its encouraging result represent a remarkable moment in medicine, scientists say, and may usher in an era of cross-species organ transplantation.

Two previous organ transplants from genetically modified pigs failed. Both patients received hearts and both died a few weeks later. In one patient, there were signs that the immune system had rejected the organ, a constant risk.

However, the kidney transplanted to 62-year-old Richard Slayman produces urine, removes waste products from the blood, balances body fluids and performs other key functions, according to his doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“This moment – ​​leaving the hospital today with one of the cleanest medical records I have had in a long time – is something I would wish for for many years to come,” he said in a statement from the hospital. “Now it’s a reality.”

He said he received “exceptional care” and thanked his doctors and nurses and well-wishers who reached out to him, including kidney patients waiting for an organ.

“Today marks a new beginning not only for me, but for them as well,” Mr. Slayman said.

The procedure brings the prospect of xenotransplantation, or animal-to-human organ transplants, much closer to reality, said Dr. David Klassen, the chief medical officer of the United Network for Organ Sharing, which manages the country’s organ transplant system.

“While there is still much work to be done, I think the potential to benefit large numbers of patients is being realized, and that has been a question mark hanging over the field,” said Dr. classes.

Whether Mr. Slayman’s body ultimately rejects the transplanted organ is still unknown, Dr. classes. And there are other hurdles: A successful…

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