How Doctors Gave a Man a Genetically Modified Pig Heart
How Doctors Gave a Man a Genetically Modified Pig Heart
9:08

How Doctors Gave a Man a Genetically Modified Pig Heart

Science
Speaker 1: Went to a big born metal allergy and a pinch of cocaine have in common. The few of them hold Turkey for a revolutionary heart transplant. Stay with me. And I'll tell you how. On January 7th, a group of scientists and doctors at the university of Maryland medical center, [00:00:30] transplanted a genetically modified peak heart into the body of a 57 year old man with a terminal heart disease. The patient is, is being monitored. But as I'm recording this video in mid February, the procedure is looking like a complete success. Speaker 2: We have, uh, several cardiologists, uh, trying to find any, any fault in it. Uh, but, but, uh, they have not been able to [00:01:00] do it. The heart is going to tracking vigorously as it should. And all those parameters are coming back as if it's this heart is as, as good as new. Speaker 1: This is Mohamed Mohi, the director of the cardiac center transplantation program at the university of Maryland medical center and a member of the team that performed this surgery has spent years researching these kinds of transplants to make this possible or not big organs [00:01:30] have long been key to research on center transplantation. And that's for a number of reasons, they can be breath quickly. Their domesticated and their organs are similar or physiologically are to the ones of human and non-human primates in the us alone. Over 100,000 people are waiting for a transplant and on average, 17 people die every day waiting for an organ. According to data of the American transplant foundation, these [00:02:00] transplants could potentially save thousands of lives of people who die waiting for a compatible organ, but they come with significant risks. The most obvious one is triggering a dangerous immune response. Basically having your body reject this falling organ, that's where the genetic modifications together with drug therapies coming into play. Speaker 1: One of the most important contributors to this rejection in the case of pig, organs [00:02:30] is a sugar molecule called Algar most mamas have it, people don't, but they may develop anti ALS against it during their lives, mostly through the bite of a so if you get a pig heart, you may end up rejecting it because your body is seeing this sugar for the first time. Or you can have a very strong, immediate reaction because your body was already predisposed to react to it. Maybe from ATIC bite that [00:03:00] you don't even remember in an interesting fact that tick bite and that same sugar are also behind an allergy to meat that some people develop the so-called Al syndrome in 2020, the FDA approved a genomic alteration in pigs to eliminate sugar, which opened the door for pork that people with this allergy could it safely, but also for potential cell transplants. Speaker 1: Like the one we have just seen going back [00:03:30] to this particular case, scientists perform 10 different gene modifications in the pig. Three genes responsible for the reject were the activated six human genes were inserted to facilitate the acceptance of the heart. And another additional gene was the activated to prevent an excessive growth of the peak heart tissue because peak hearts are normally bigger than human hearts. The genetically motive fight peak [00:04:00] was provided by a company called revive VOR on the morning of the transplant surgery. The surgical team removed the pig's heart and placed it in a heart box. That is a machine that keeps the heart preserved until surgery. And another interesting fact, this was done with the help of a solution that contains cocaine, a tiny amount among other less attention, grabbing ingredients, such as inline [00:04:30] adrenaline and cortisol. This surgery was an experimental procedure, but it was also the only chance for David Bennett, who had been ineligible for a conventional transplant and had already spent months in the hospital. That's why the food and drug administration granted emergency authorization to this procedure through what's called the compassionate use provision. This is a path that can be used [00:05:00] when a new treat that has still not been approved is the only option available for a patient with a life threatening condition. Barley P Griffith is the director of the cardiac transplant program at the university of Maryland medical center. And the surgeon who led this transplant, Speaker 3: I've been asked how we would define success. And I think we've surpassed in many measures, what we would've expected. We have a heart that's, you know, out [00:05:30] five weeks and performing normally requiring no assistance. Our immune suppressive protocol that Dr. Mo Heaton has basically invented and trialed is working flawlessly. Um, don't know what next week or tomorrow's gonna look like, but we're taking one foot in front of the other. And, uh, I'm optimistic Speaker 1: Scientists have been researching center transplantation for a very long time, including blood transfusions. As early as the 17th [00:06:00] century. More recently in the 20th century, several doctors tried to transplant kidneys and hearts from baboons and chimpanzees into human patients. One of the most famous procedures took place in 9 84. When doctors transplanted a Babo heart into a baby girl with a rare and congenital heart defect, she survived for 20 days, but her body ended up rejecting the heart. Okay. Speaker 4: She'd already [00:06:30] outlived any of the recipients of similar operations. Speaker 1: However, big heart valves having been used success in humans for over 30 years in 2016, Dr. Ma human and AO scientist had already managed to keep a big heart life in the body of a Babo. In that case, the big heart was not replacing the monkey heart, but it was still attached to the circle system, call it Bon [00:07:00] two years later, a team of researchers at the university of Munich managed to perform full transplants from genetically modified peaks into four BA bones. They survived four months before being ized. And the researchers told the media back then that they were enjoying life, including watching TV, genomic, genomic alterations opened the door to solving many of the problems that come with these therapies in humans. Last October, surgeons [00:07:30] attach an alter peak kidney to a brain that patient and it worked, or that they only follow the results for a couple of days. And there are still a lot of questions around the Fe visibility of semi transplants. The potential is huge. Speaker 2: It is a game changer because if this works and you know, and I hope it'll work, uh, we'll have these organs available. We, we, we can, you know, we have the technique of genetically modifying. So if there are more [00:08:00] tweaking required for, for modifying the genes, we can, we, we will, we will be able to do that. And, you know, can, can, you know, customize basically the heart for, or the organ for the patient. Speaker 1: DRMO Huan has already said, they're planning to publish their results of the P and share them with the high anti medical community. Again, this case was an experiment, but if other teams are able to replicate it, the field will move closer to a future [00:08:30] where nobody dies waiting for a compatible organ. Give Speaker 5: Me a high five, buddy. That was awesome.

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