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Man Who Received a Heart Transplant From a Pig Has Died

Accepted submission by takyon at 2022-03-09 22:26:04 from the ripped-out dept.

A man who got the 1st pig heart transplant has died after 2 months []

The first person to receive a heart transplant from a pig has died, two months after the groundbreaking experiment, the Maryland hospital that performed the surgery announced Wednesday.

David Bennett, 57, died Tuesday at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Doctors didn't give an exact cause of death, saying only that his condition had begun deteriorating several days earlier.

[...] Prior attempts at such transplants — or xenotransplantation — have failed largely because patients' bodies rapidly rejected the animal organ. This time, the Maryland surgeons used a heart from a gene-edited pig: Scientists had modified the animal to remove pig genes that trigger the hyper-fast rejection and add human genes to help the body accept the organ.

At first the pig heart was functioning, and the Maryland hospital issued periodic updates that Bennett seemed to be slowly recovering. Last month, the hospital released video of him watching the Super Bowl from his hospital bed while working with his physical therapist.

Bennett survived significantly longer with the gene-edited pig heart than one of the last milestones in xenotransplantation — when Baby Fae, a dying California infant, lived 21 days with a baboon's heart in 1984.

[...] One next question is whether scientists have learned enough from Bennett's experience and some other recent experiments with gene-edited pig organs to persuade the FDA to allow a clinical trial — possibly with an organ such as a kidney that isn't immediately fatal if it fails.

Previously: Surgeons Smash Records With Pig-to-Primate Organ Transplants []
Surgeons Successfully Transplant Genetically Modified Pig Heart Into Human Patient []

Original Submission