(ORDO NEWS) — In the United States, the first patient who was transplanted with a genetically modified pig heart has died. This was announced on March 9 at the University of Maryland Hospital.
57-year-old David Bennett with a terminal illness went down in history as the first person to undergo such an operation. However, he died 2 months after surgery.
“David Bennett, a 57-year-old patient with terminal heart disease who made history as the first person to receive a genetically engineered pig heart, passed away yesterday afternoon on March 8,” the University Hospital website said.
According to doctors, the man’s condition began to deteriorate sharply a few days ago. And the modified heart was transplanted to the patient on January 7th.
It is noted that after the operation, the transplanted organ functioned very well for several weeks. Physicians did not observe signs of rejection.
Scientists from the university hospital noted that the operation provided invaluable information that the genetically modified pig heart is able to function perfectly for several weeks in the human body. But this is possible only if the immune system is “adequately suppressed.”
“We remain optimistic and plan to continue our work in future clinical trials,” the hospital concluded.
Recall that Bennett decided on a transplant, because because of his illness, he literally faced the question: a pig’s heart or death. The FDA issued an emergency clearance for the operation just before the New Year.
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