Four die after transplants from same organ donor
THREE people died of breast cancer after the disease was passed on by the same organ donor, it has been reported.
In a case that has defied the odds and shocked the medical world, a 53-year-old female organ donor passed the disease onto three organ recipients.
The woman, who died from a stroke, had donated her kidneys, lungs, heart and liver to patients.
But doctors did not realise the donor had cancerous cells in vital organs and they acted as a deadly Trojan Horse, The Sun reports.
This case was revealed by the University of Tübingen in Germany and VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam.
Of the five recipients, four of them died within six years, according to the American Journal of Transplantation.
Three of them died after picking up breast cancer which then spread to their healthy organs.
The heart patient died from sepsis, which occurs when the body attacks its own organs trying to deal with an infection.
Experts have said the odds of catching cancer from a single organ transplant are as little as one in 10,000.
The authors of the report said the "extraordinary case points out the often fatal consequences of donor-derived breast cancer and suggests that removal of the donor organ and restoration of immunity can induce complete remission".
The disease is referred to as breast cancer even when it starts elsewhere because that is where it originated.
The first patient to die from the transplant was a 42-year-old woman who received both lungs. She died in 2009 after the cancer spread to both her bones and liver.
Tests were then carried out on the woman, 62, who got the left kidney and the man, 32, who got the right one.
While the man survived, the woman died after being diagnosed with cancer of the liver in 2014.
The third patient to die from breast cancer was a woman, 59, who received a liver.
The screening process for organ donors is meant to determine if the potential donor has an infection that could be transmitted to recipients.
As well as medical tests, doctors conduct a medical and social history interview with the deceased donor's next-of-kin to gather information about behaviours that may have exposed the potential donor to certain diseases and the potential donor's past medical history.