Chinese researchers transplant gene-edited pig liver into living human patient

Photo credit: Viktor Fedyunin/ Kazinform

Chinese researchers on Friday announced that they have successfully transplanted a genetically modified pig liver into a living human patient with severe liver cancer, marking a breakthrough in xenotransplantation involving living humans, Xinhua reports.

According to the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University in Hefei, the capital of east China's Anhui Province, the operation was conducted on May 17 by a team led by professor Sun Beicheng from the Hefei hospital, in collaboration with a team led by professor Wei Hongjiang from Yunnan Agricultural University.

Sun said that the 71-year-old patient did not experience acute or hyperacute rejection within the seven days following the operation, nor did he experience a disorder to his coagulation system.

The operation was the first clinically assisted pig-to-human xenogeneic liver transplant and the fifth xenogeneic organ transplant in the world, he said.

The patient is able to move around freely at present, and his liver function and many other health indicators have returned to normal.

In April, Chinese researchers successfully transplanted a genetically modified pig liver into a brain-dead patient at Xijing Hospital of the Air Force Medical University in Xi'an, transplanting a pig liver into a brain-dead human for the first time in the field of medicine.

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