Patient in France received the lungs of a smoker and died of cancer


According to a study published in the journal Lung Cancer, which warns about the risk of transplant of these organs, the patient has been treated since childhood by cystic fibrosis. After the rapid deterioration of their respiratory functions, typical of this disease, doctors decided in November 2015 to perform a lung transplant.

"According to the donor database, the transplanted lungs belonged to a 57-year-old woman who smoked cigarette packs every day for 30 years," according to a study by oncologists at the University Hospital of Montpellier.

The study indicates that tests performed at the time of donor brain death did not reveal abnormalities.

In June 2017, the patient was admitted to the thoracic oncology unit of the referred hospital. Two months later, he died of lung cancer without attempting any therapy.

According to the study, the symptoms correspond to the cancer caused by smoking.

"The short time between lung transplantation and the onset of the first radiological abnormality suggests that carcinogenesis has started in the life of the donor," the study authors added. A cancer whose growth would have been greatly accelerated by the immunosuppressive treatments that the patient received to avoid the rejection of his new lungs.

According to Dr. Jean-Louis Pujol and colleagues, "Given the relatively long latency time of lung cancer, we suggest that transplants from (or have recently stopped) smokers should be treated with caution."


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