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54-Year-Old Woman Dies Three Months After Receiving Pig Kidney Transplant

A 54-year-old woman who received a genetically modified pig kidney transplant in a New York hospital on April 12 died three months after the transplant.

Lisa Pisano, a 54-year-old woman from New Jersey suffered from heart and kidney failure before her surgery and was not suitable for a human transplant.

Pisano 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.

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.”

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 closel to human organs.

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