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54-year-old woman, who received pig kidney transplant plus a heart pump, dies – Times of India

World54-year-old woman, who received pig kidney transplant plus a heart pump, dies - Times of India

Lisa Pisano, a 54-year-old woman from New Jersey, passed away on Sunday after living for 47 days with a kidney transplanted from a genetically modified pig. She was the second person to receive such a transplant and was critically ill, suffering from both kidney and heart failure.
Pisano underwent the transplant on April 12, just eight days after receiving a mechanical heart pump.
Due to inadequate blood flow related to the heart pump, the pig kidney was damaged, and surgeons had to remove it on May 29. Following the explantation, Pisano resumed kidney dialysis but was eventually transitioned to hospice care. Her case was unique, as she was the first person with a heart pump known to have also received an organ transplant, as patients with kidney failure are usually ineligible for heart pumps due to the high risk of mortality.
Dr Robert Montgomery, director of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute, praised Pisano’s contributions to the field of xenotransplantation, saying, “Lisa’s contributions to medicine, surgery and xenotransplantation cannot be overstated. Her bravery gave hope to thousands of people living with end-stage kidney or heart failure who could soon benefit from an alternative supply of organs.”
Pisano’s case follows that of Richard Slayman, 62, who was the first patient to receive a kidney from a genetically engineered pig in March at Mass General Brigham in Boston. Although Slayman was well enough to be discharged two weeks after the surgery, he, like Pisano, had complex medical problems and died within two months.
Xenotransplantation has made significant progress in recent years, but the procedures remain experimental. Only patients who are too sick to receive a human organ and are at risk of dying without treatment have been approved to receive animal organs.
Biotech companies are striving to address the dire shortage of transplantable organs in the United States, where over 100,000 individuals, primarily in need of a kidney, are on the waiting list. Tragically, many die before receiving a transplant. These companies are focusing on genetic modifications to pigs, aiming to create organs that more closely resemble human ones and reduce the likelihood of rejection by the recipient’s immune system.

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