The first person to receive a heart transplant from a pig died, two months after the ground experiment, a Maryland hospital performed surgery. Announced Wednesday
The 57-year-old died Tuesday at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Doctors did not say the exact cause of death, only that his condition had started to deteriorate several days ago.
Bennett’s son praised the hospital for offering the last-ditch experience, saying the family hoped it would help further efforts to address the organ shortage.
In a statement issued by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, David Bennett Jr. said, “We are grateful for every innovative moment, every crazy dream, every sleepless night that has gone into this historic endeavor.” “We hope this story can be the beginning of hope, not the end.”
For decades, doctors have tried to use animal organs one day for life-saving transplants. Bennett, a worker from Hagerstown, Maryland, was a candidate for this latest endeavor simply because she would otherwise have died – incapable of human heart transplants, in bed and in life. With the help of, and out of other options.
After the January 7 operation, Bennett’s son told the Associated Press that his father knew there was no guarantee that he would work.
Dr. Bartley Griffith, who performed the 7-hour surgery at Baltimore Hospital, recalled to CBS News that Bennett said: “I do not want to die; but if I do, you will probably learn something to help others. . “
Previous attempts at such transplants – or zeno transplantation – have largely failed because patients’ bodies quickly rejected animal organs. This time, Maryland surgeons used gene-modified pig heart: Scientists modified the animal to remove pig genes that trigger hyperfast rejection and help the body accept the organ. Add human genes to
At first, the pig’s heart was working, and the Maryland hospital released periodic updates that Bennett was slowly recovering. Last month, the hospital released a video of him watching a Super Bowl from a hospital bed while working with his physical therapist.
Bennett lived significantly longer with a gene-modified pig’s heart than the last milestone of the Zeno transplantation – when BBF, a dying baby from California, lived 21 days with a baby’s heart in 1984.
“We are devastated by the loss of Mr. Bennett. He proved to be a brave and great patient who fought to the last,” said Dr. Griffith.
There is a great need for other organs. More than 41,000 transplants were performed in the United States last year, a record – including about 3,800 heart transplants. But more than 106,000 people remain on the national waiting list, thousands die each year before they receive an organ, and thousands more are left out of the list, which is considered a long shot.
The Food and Drug Administration allowed Maryland’s dramatic experience under “compassionate use” laws for emergencies. Bennett’s doctors said he had a history of heart failure and irregular heartbeat, as well as a history of non-compliance with medical instructions. It has been declared ineligible for human heart transplantation, which requires strict use of immune-suppressing drugs, or other alternative, an implanted heart pump.
Doctors did not say the exact cause of Bennett’s death. Rejection, infection and other complications are risks to transplant recipients.
But from Bennett’s experience, “we’ve gained invaluable insights into learning that a genetically modified pig’s heart can function well inside the human body when the immune system is under considerable pressure.” Dr. Muhammad Mohi-ud-Din, Scientific Director of Animals at the University of Maryland said. Human Transplant Program.
The next question is whether scientists have learned much from Bennett’s experiment and some other experiments on genetically modified pork organs to persuade the FDA to allow clinical trials – possibly kidney-like organ transplants. Which, of course, made the video an overnight sensation. .
Twice last fall, New York University surgeons asked families of the dead to work on genetically modified pig’s kidneys before temporarily attaching them to blood vessels outside the body and ending life support. Permission to view And one step further, surgeons at the University of Alabama in Birmingham transplanted a pair of gene-modified pig kidneys into a brain dead man in a phased rehearsal for an operation. Year
Pigs have long been used in human medicine, including pig skin grafts and transplantation of pig heart valves. But whole organ transplants are much more complicated than using highly processed tissues. The genetically modified pigs used in the experiments were provided by Revivicor, a subsidiary of United Therapeutics, one of several biotech companies involved in the race to develop suitable pig organs for possible human transplants. Is.