2nd recipient of pig kidney transplant dies

The second patient to receive a kidney transplant from a genetically modified pig, and who lived with the organ for 47 days, died July 7, The New York Times reported July 9.

Lisa Pisano was a 54-year-old New Jersey woman who suffered from both kidney and heart failure. She received the organ on April 12 — eight days after receiving a mechanical heart pump. Both surgeries were performed at New York City-based NYU Langone Health.

However, the kidney was removed May 29 after it was damaged by inadequate blood flow from the heart pump. Ms. Pisano resumed dialysis, but was eventually transitioned to hospice care.

Ms. Pisano is the second person in history to receive a pig kidney and the first person with a heart pump to receive an organ transplant. 

“Lisa’s contributions to medicine, surgery and xenotransplantation cannot be overstated,” Robert Montgomery, MD, director of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute, told the Times. “Her bravery gave hope to thousands of people living with end-stage kidney or heart failure who could soon benefit from an alternative supply of organs.”

Richard Slayman, a patient at Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital, was the first recipient of a pig kidney. He died in May, nearly two months after the initial procedure.

The FDA allows for animal organ transplants under its compassionate use or expanded access program, for patients with life-threatening conditions. The program helps patients who are at risk of dying and are too sick to receive human organs. 

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