A team at NYU Langone Health has performed the first investigational transplant of a genetically engineered, nonhuman kidney to a human body. This milestone procedure marks extraordinary progress in potentially using an alternative supply of organs for people who need lifesaving transplants.
For decades, scientists have dreamed of using xenotransplantation—which involves producing modified organs in animals intended for human recipients—to address organ shortages. According to coverage in USA Today, more than 100,000 Americans are on the national organ transplant list, the majority for kidneys, who must wait for someone else’s tragedy.
Robert Montgomery, MD, DPhil, director of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute and a heart transplant recipient himself, and his team transplanted a kidney from a genetically engineered pig to a body donated precisely to advance this purpose.
As reported by USA Today, Dr. Montgomery told to his team immediately following the transplant, “As you all know, this is really important. This is going to take us to the next step, which is having organs available to everyone who needs them at any time.”
Read more from USA Today (subscription required).