Northwestern surgeons perform double lung transplant in 2 cancer patients

Northwestern Medicine is pioneering a new treatment for stage 4 cancer patients: double lung transplants.

Surgeons at the Chicago-based health system have successfully performed two such transplants on patients who were previously being considered for hospice. Now, the system is launching a new clinical program to offer the treatment to other patients whose cancer has spread to both lungs but not other parts of the body. 

Researchers will also track the outcomes of the clinical program's first 75 patients through a new research registry.

Surgeons conducted the first double lung transplant on Chicago resident Albert Khoury in September 2021. Tannaz Ameli, a retired nurse from Minnesota, underwent her transplant in July 2022. Neither patient required additional cancer treatments after the transplant. 

The medical advancements build upon Northwestern's research on COVID-19 lung transplantation. In 2020, the health system became the first in the U.S. to complete a double lung transplant on a COVID-19 patient. 

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