If the results are satisfactory, the transplant could be performed on 200 to 300 people per year in France and would avoid the removal of the lung

This is a world first which was just announced this March 3, 2011 during a press conference at the Avicenne Hospital in Bobigny: the first transplant of an artificial bronchus of a patient aged 78 and suffering from a non-metastatic lung cancer, 28 October 2009. Three surgeons are responsible for this breakthrough: Professor Emmanuel Martinod, known worldwide for his work on bioprosthetic heart valve, Professor Dominique Valeyre, head of the blood-oncothorax pole, and Alain Carpentier, father of the artificial heart. They hope to continue this practice of twenty or thirty patients in a few weeks and, if successful, continue to transplant 200 to 300 patients per year (depending on conditions) to avoid complete ablation of lung.

They waited 18 months before declaring “victory”

The three surgeons who have conducted research for ten years to develop this new graft, waited eighteen months months before announcing this. They preferred to be sure that their patient is in “good shape”. For now, he walks, visits his second home in the countryside. Professor Martinod says it “looks good, must be followed, to regular reviews and aerosols.” Knowing a victory in France, there are 1000 to 2000 of lung ablations per year, that lung cancer is one of the hardest to treat (37,000 new cases of lung cancer estimated in 2010) and it kills many (28 700 deaths from lung cancer in France estimated in 2010, according to E-cancer ).


A first in France

The treated patient was suffering from a non-metastatic lung cancer whose malignant lung was located at the two upper lobes of the right lung. Only a complete removal of the right lung was feasible knowing that it is high risk because the mortality rate is estimated at 26% at 90 days. For this patient, the three surgeons have completed the removal of both lobes reached so that there was more continuity between the duct respiratory airways and the remaining healthy lung lobe. They then grafted aorta (artery diameter at the widest) taken from a deceased donor (avoids anti-rejection drugs, against-indicated in cancer patients) obtained from a tissue bank where the bodies are preserved through the cryopreservation. To maintain rigidity internal metallic stent is installed.

This cumbersome procedure that lasted three hours, it is the result of extensive research and despite some difficulties such as postoperative supraventricular arrhythmia, pulmonary edema, collapse of the alveoli of the right lobe. it remains a success. To date, the remaining lung lobe plays its role and grafted bronchus shows no signs of complications after his stay at low temperatures.