Woman Dies of Cancer in France, after Receiving Transplant of Smoker’s Lungs

    Tests Performed, at the Time, Were Not Aware of the Abnormalities

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    A patient suffering from cystic fibrosis developed cancer shortly after receiving a lung transplant from a smoker in France, according to a study published in the journal Lung Cancer, which warns about the risk of using such organs.

    The deceased patient had been treated since childhood by fibrosis. After the rapid deterioration of their respiratory functions, typical of this disease, doctors decided to perform a lung change in November 2015.

    Lungs transplant surgery

    “According to the donor database, the transplanted lungs belonged to a 57-year-old woman who had smoked a pack of cigarettes every day for 30 years”, according to the study conducted by oncologists at the university hospital in Montpellier (south).

    The study indicates that the tests performed, at the time of the brain death of the donor, revealed no abnormalities. She had been admitted, in June of 2017, to the thoracic oncology unit of that hospital.

    2 months later, he died of lung cancer without being able to try any therapy. According to the academic report, the symptoms correspond to cancer caused by smoking.

    “The short time between lung transplantation and the appearance of the first radiological anomaly suggests that carcinogenesis began in the donor’s lifetime”, added the authors of the study, who explained that cancer had an enormously rapid growth due to the immunosuppressive treatments that the patient received to avoid rejection of her new lungs.

    According to Dr. Jean-Louis Pujol and colleagues, “taking into account the relatively long latency time of lung cancer, we suggest that transplants from smoking (or who recently quit) donors should be treated with caution”.

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