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World News May 25, 2024

China achieves world’s first gene edited pig liver xenotransplantation

On May 17, China achieved the world’s first successful liver cross-species transplant, using a 10-gene edited pig liver in a cancer patient at a hospital in Anhui Province. The patient showed no signs of rejection and walked freely a week post-surgery, with the liver functioning normally and secreting 200 milliliters of bile daily.

This breakthrough, led by chief surgeon Sun Peicheng of the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, signifies a major step towards future full liver transplants, providing hope for liver cancer patients. The procedure addresses the scarcity of human organs, leveraging pig organs due to their similar size and anatomy. However, challenges include the human body’s rejection of xenotransplanted organs and infection risks.

Historically, xenotransplantation attempts began in the U.S., with mixed outcomes. The Chinese procedure marks a significant global first, performed on a 71-year-old male with a large hepatic tumor. The hospital’s multidisciplinary team ensured ethical approval and patient consent, using a 514-gram liver from a genetically modified pig.

Sun highlighted the surgery’s innovation in transplant technique and the establishment of procedural standards, offering insights into immune-suppressing drug use and patient care in xenotransplantation.

Source – CGTN

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