Paris (AFP). A woman in Montpellier, France, died of lung cancer about one and a half years after she had received the lungs of a long-time smoker. A study now published in the journal Lung Cancer warns of risks associated with transplantation of smoker's organs.
According to the report, the patient, who has been suffering from cystic fibrosis since childhood, received the lungs of a 57-year-old in November 2015, who smoked a pack of cigarettes for 30 years, according to available data. In June 2017, the recipient of the lung was admitted to the cancer ward of the University Hospital Montpellier, where she died of lung cancer two months later, without any treatment being possible.
Typical lung cancer symptoms
The study showed that the patient has symptoms typical of smoking-induced lung cancer. The short interval between organ transplantation and the appearance of first irregularities in X-ray images of the lungs indicated that the cancer had already been triggered during the life of the donor, said the authors of the study.
Anti-immune drugs that the organ recipient had to take to prevent rejection of the donor organ would have promoted the development of the cancer. Given the long latency period for lung cancer, it is advisable to reconsider the transplantation of lungs from smokers or donors who have recently quit smoking, the authors concluded.