Every Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patient dreams of the day that a breakthrough is announced which will serve as the key to ending Kidney Failure and provide them with a higher quality and fuller life. Unfortunately, there are over 100,000 patients currently awaiting a Kidney Transplant with more than 4,500 individuals dying before they ever get a call for a match. "The dire shortage has led some researchers to consider an unusual solution," reported the Wall Street Journal.
Recommended Reading: Pigs Are The Next Likely Source Of Major Breakthrough In Kidney Transplant
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are now breeding genetically modified pigs whose kidneys could be compatible for human transplant. In no way is this a new approach. In fact, researchers have been trying for decades to make animal-to-human transplants possible (a process known as Xenotransplantation). However, scientist have never been closer to making this potential breakthrough a reality.
Although, more data and more experiments are needed, what is amazing is that lead researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham said, "they hope to start discussions with the Food and Drug Administration next year about which further experiments they need in order to launch a small pilot trial to transplant genetically modified pig kidneys into people," according to the Wall Street Journal.
One researcher suggested, “For some, this will be their only option to get a kidney." Another said, “Patients are dying. I am sensitive to their urgency.” It appears like this unique approach to solving the Kidney Transplant shortage issue is on the fast track and should offer Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients additional hope for a brighter future.
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