Lung transplant breakthrough hailed

Doctors believe a pioneering transplant technique which cleans and reconditions donor lungs could help save the lives of many patients desperately waiting for new organs

A UKwide study has been welcomed by patients groups who claim it will bring hope to many with chronic lung disorders

Only one in five of the potential donor lungs available in the UK is currently used in lung transplants

The rest are turned down as they are in too poor a condition to safely transplant the team said

Almost a third of those currently waiting for a lung transplant at any one time will never be matched with a donor organ and many will die before suitable donor organs are found the doctors said

The new technique called exvivo lung perfusion or EVLP involves cleaning and aerating the donor lungs after they are removed from the donor

It is being piloted in a small scale study and has already been shown to work in eight patients

The study which is coordinated by the DEVELOPUK team from Newcastle University and Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust will now bring together all the lung transplant centres in England to test the new technique

Philippa Bradbury 21 from Mirfield near West Yorkshire has benefited from lungs reconditioned using the technique

Miss Bradbury who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis CF at 15monthsold was put on the lung transplant waiting list and had four calls in five months for a transplant but each time the donor lungs were unusable

She said quotBefore the transplant I was in and out of hospital my quality of life had really gone down

quotUnlike my friends of similar ages I wasnt able to enjoy the spontaneity of going out and enjoying myself I became too tired and too out of breath to do anything

quotAfter the transplant I was only in hospital for 11 days because the reconditioned lungs were perfect

quotIt was amazingly quickquot

Professor Andrew Fisher who is leading the research team said quotUnfortunately lungs are an incredibly delicate organ and they are easily damaged by events that happen before their removal from the donor If we can make more of the donor lungs currently turned down available for transplant that will be a great benefit to many patients whose lives are severely limited by their severe breathing problems

quotWe know already from experience in a small numbers of patients that this technique can work we now need to prove it on a large scale so that EVLP can be rolledout across the country as a new technology in lung transplantationquot

Ed Owen chief executive of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust said quotThe CF Trust is striving for all people with Cystic Fibrosis who require a transplant to receive one

quotSadly many people currently die before lungs become available quotThe EVLP research is revolutionary for people with CF as it makes more lungs available and therefore offers real hope and life for many peoplequot

James Neuberger medical director organ donation and transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant said quotThere remains a severe shortage of organs donated for transplantation and we desperately need more people to donate and to make as best use of those organs that are donated so that more lives can be saved

quotWe therefore warmly welcome this initiative that will look at novel ways in which more lungs can be made available for transplantation and save more livesquot

Chris Watson president of the British Transplantation Society said the study could offer hope to transplant patients quotThe BTS wishes to congratulate the DEVELOPUK research team for setting up this studyquot

The DEVELOPUK study involves all five NHS adult lung transplant centres Harefield Hospital in London Papworth Hospital in Cambridge Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester and Freeman Hospital in Newcastle

It is being funded by the Department of Health via the National Institute for Health Research with additional funding provided by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Date : 31 May, 2012
Reference :

Back to News
Featured Hospitals Listing
St. Stephen's Hospital
St. Stephen's Hospital Marg Tis Hazari Delhi Delhi (India)
Phone : 23966021 - 27
Email :
Website URL : Available