Stage 4 lung cancer patient lives cancer-free after successful lung transplant
In a medical breakthrough, a successful lung transplant for a terminal stage 4 lung cancer patient was performed by surgeons at Norwestern medicine. The tumor, though in stage 4, had not metastasized and was luckily encasing both of the patient's lungs, which is a rare event.
After half a year, the patient, Albert Khoury, had no signs of any cancer in the body which brings rays of hope for other lung cancer patients, the press release mentions.
"Lung transplantation for lung cancer is extremely uncommon with few cases reported," said Ankit Bharat, MD, chief of thoracic surgery at Northwestern Medicine and executive director of the canning Thoracic Institute, who is also a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University. "For patients with stage 4 cancer, lung transplantation is considered a complete 'no-no,' but because Albert's cancer was confined only to his chest, we were confident we could clear all the cancer during surgery and save his life."
The 54-year-old patient who was a non-smoker used to work as a cement finisher where he developed the symptoms of cold which were later detected as stage 1 lung cancer which progressed to terminal stage 4 cancer because of delay in treatment due to Covid-19 surge.
"One of the biggest fears of performing a transplant on anyone who has cancer is the risk of recurrence after the transplant," said Dr. Bharat. "All transplant patients require medications to control their immune system, which has an immune-suppressive effect. The concern is that if you suppress someone's immune system and they have lingering cancer cells in the body, those will flare up very quickly."
Because the outcome was so successful, Drs. Bharat and Chae are developing a new set of protocols for treating lung cancer patients at Northwestern Medicine, and they're currently in the process of starting a clinical registry to track the progress of such patients over time.
B.Sc Life Sciences, M.Sc Biotechnology, B.Ed
Isra Zaman is a Life Science graduate from Daulat Ram College, Delhi University, and a postgraduate in Biotechnology from Amity University. She has a flair for writing, and her roles at Medicaldialogues include that of a Sr. content writer and a medical correspondent. Her news pieces cover recent discoveries and updates from the health and medicine sector. She can be reached at email@example.com.