Hepatitis C-Infected Hearts and Lungs Safely Transplanted

As the number of patients in need of heart or lung transplants continues to exceed the number of donor organs that are viable and available, many patients die while waiting for a transplant. Through the DONATE HCV Trial, a team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is expanding the donor pool by enabling transplantation from hepatitis C-infected donors.

In a recent publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, a multidisciplinary team of experts from Brigham and Women’s Hospital reported a 100 percent success rate for transplant recipients who received lungs or a heart infected with hepatitis C (HCV).

Six months after transplantation, patients remained hepatitis C free and had functioning transplanted organs. The trial showed that a four-week antiviral treatment regimen started immediately following organ transplantation prevented HCV infection in all patients and led to excellent outcomes. Given the success of the trial, enrollment continues.

The DONATE HCV Trial is the largest clinical trial to date for HCV thoracic organ transplantation. “If even half the other centers in the United States were to adopt the Brigham protocol, we would, in fact, shorten the time to transplantation by nearly half,” says Mandeep Mehra, MD, medical director of the Heart & Vascular Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The team has enrolled 69 participants to date.

In the above video, hear more from the investigators pioneering this trial, including:

A Growing Case for Segmentectomy for Early-Stage Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers

photo of lung tissueDetection of lung cancers at an early stage, combined with advances in imaging technologies and surgical techniques, bolster the rationale for choosing VATS (video-assisted thoracic surgery) segmentectomy for patients with stage I non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
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Pulmonary Genetics Center Demystifies Testing and Empowers Physicians

Situs inversus, a congenital condition in which the major visceral organs are reversed from normal positions. A physical examination confirmed the position of the heart.Over the past 20 years, more than 100 genes have been found that cause specific lung diseases, most of which can be tested for by DNA sequencing. However, interpreting and acting upon genetic test results can be a challenging task for any physician not trained in genetics.  The Pulmonary Genetics Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is bridging the gap by providing this expertise to patients and referring physicians and assisting them in navigating this complex new field.
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After the ICU: Patients’ Stories Spark Insight into ICU Survivorship

Daniella Lamas headshot and cover of her new book "You Can Stop Humming Now"What happens to patients after the ICU? That is the question examined by physician/writer Daniela Lamas, MD, in her book, You Can Stop Humming Now: A Doctor’s Stories of Life, Death and In Between.
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A Heart-Lung Transplantation Marks a New Era – for Patient and Hospital

3D Illustration of Human Body Organs (Lungs with Heart Anatomy)Building on pioneering work performed during the first wave of heart-lung transplantation, Brigham and Women’s Hospital has resumed its heart-lung program and is once again performing the rare procedure.

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Could a Cancer Protein Be a Target for Preventing Lung Vessel Scarring?

PET imaging of research

Although there is no cure for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital are unraveling the molecular mechanisms that may control PAH’s development and progression in an effort toward finding treatments that could halt its advancement. In Science Translational Medicine, researchers shared results from a study that identifies the cancer protein NEDD9 as a critical player in disease development, with potential therapeutic implications for patients with PAH.

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A Deeper Look at Severe Asthma Yields NET Results

Neutrophil cell (white blood cell) in blood smear, analyze by microscope

A study by investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital that models allergic lung inflammation provides new insight into how neutrophil cytoplasts can contribute to asthma severity. The results may have implications for developing drugs for people with severe asthma.

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Minimally Invasive Surgery Offers Most Effective Treatment for Lung Cancer Patients

For lung cancer surgeries, should there be an imperative to use minimally invasive techniques? 

Video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) lobectomies have been available to lung cancer surgeons for two decades. Despite the benefits, only 30 to 40 percent of lobectomies in the U.S. are performed using a minimally invasive technique. And yet, compared with open surgery, lobectomies performed by the VATS approach result in a shorter length of hospital stay, fewer adverse events, less cost to the hospital, and better quality of life for the patient. Read More

Lung Transplant Program Triples its Volume in Two Years, While Shortening Length of Hospital Stay

In 2015, surgeons in the Lung Transplant Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital performed 26 lung transplants. After significant investments in surgical staff, quality and processes, the program tripled its volume over a two-year period, performing 75 lung transplants in 2017. During this period of rapid growth, many outcomes were also improved, including a decrease in the length of hospital stay from 24 days (2015) to approximately 15 days (2017) and increased one-year survival to over 90 percent. Read More

New Technique Applying Artificial Intelligence to Chest Computerized Tomography Scans May Predict COPD Staging and Outcomes

A novel platform is showing the potential for combining artificial intelligence (AI) and CT technology to identify disease stage in people with COPD and predict who are most likely to have acute respiratory disorder events and high mortality.

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