The emergence of new options to help people who need organ transplants should not discourage their donation, said Ruben Argueiro Sanchez, chief of surgery at the Onam University School of Medicine.
According to El Sol de México, on January 10, the University of Maryland in the United States announced that the first transplant of a genetically modified pig heart was performed on a 57-year-old man with complex heart failure.
And the time of the announcement the patient had three days to survive with the organ, which indicates that it works without being rejected by the body immediately, but for it to be considered a successful procedure, the university researcher determined, it is necessary to wait at least 100 days.
Argüero Sánchez said this news prompts the investigation to quickly continue the investigation.
“We can’t say it’s a success. You have to wait carefully, and here the word of wisdom must come first, because the procedure of xenotransplantation (putting an animal organ into someone) is not easy, it generates a series of problems that include bioethics, respect for animals , and many other things,” he highlighted.
He added that 10% of the world’s patients registered in the waiting list to receive an organ are currently dying due to the lack of donations, especially the kidneys, whose failure causes kidney failure, which requires dialysis and has multiple consequences. for those affected.
This is not the first time that a procedure of this type has been attempted, and the researcher known for being the first Latin American to perform a heart transplant confirmed; However, unfortunately, to date, patients to whom an organ of animal origin has been inserted live no more than 30 days.
“The dream of transplanting functional animal organs to humans is more than three decades old, and it has been observed that the pig is evolutionarily closer to humans, which is why the pericardium of this animal was used to build heart valves; the urethra for use in men. And the islets of the pancreas, meaning that many have already been used of tissues.
The researcher explained that kidney transplants from chimpanzees and other nearby primates took place before 2000, and unfortunately the patients died.
Key to this new transplant, Argüero Sánchez said, is work by private company Revivicorp, “an example of genetic jewelry working with genes that have been linked to the body’s rapid response to rejection and human genes that have been placed in pigs so that humans are more tolerant of their organs making it easier to accept.” The host for a strange member.”
On its farms, the company produces hearts, lobes, lungs and kidneys, but the cost of maintenance is very high due to the care the animals require, which is difficult for the public health system to afford.
“Saying that you already have pigs and organs would discourage donation and this is a global problem, especially when it comes to the kidneys, liver, hearts, pancreas and everything else. The organ that is needed in such a huge amount is the kidneys. This we have to pay great attention to.”
Nor should the risks and costs of maintaining a farm with animals free from viruses and bacteria or capable of modifying them so that the organs are not rejected, and also that the organ has the required size and characteristics. This is also where the opportunity given to the patient in the United States lies.
Part of the questions this work still needs to answer is why it has worked in some cases and not in others. Stem cells are thought to stimulate cellular reprogramming and the response of tissues such as the heart and some areas of the lung and pancreas, but this is part of what still needs to be investigated.
Based on the above, Argüero Sánchez stressed the need to preserve organ donation and explore the issue of donating brain-dead patients, as well as those whose heart has stopped working, strategies applied in Spain, which is the country with the highest mortality rate of donation in the world.
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