In a milestone of the quest to make life-saving organs available to anyone who needs them, a New Jersey woman became the first human to receive two genetically modified organs originating from a pig. Because she had both kidney failure and heart failure, neither procedure could be performed by itself, and she was therefore not eligible to receive human organs from the registries. With a prognosis of only a few weeks to live, she chose to take the risk of this never-before surgical attempt—and, following the back-to-back procedures, reports feeling remarkably better. This breakthrough by surgeons at NYU Langone has fueled hope that the option of transferring animal organs into humans will ease pressure on the national organ donation registry—which currently lists 103,000 patients waiting—and save as many as 17 lives each day.

Read full article