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  1. ITV Report

Study brings 'hope' to patients with lung disorders

Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire is at the heart of a countrywide study looking at reconditioning transplant lungs.

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

Unfortunately lungs are an incredibly delicate organ and they are easily damaged by events that happen before their removal from the donor.

– Professor Andrew Fisher

Doctors are researching whether lungs which would have previously been turned down for being in a poor condition can be revived by being cleaned and aerated.

A third of patients currently on waiting list will probably die before they find a match. So far pilot tests of the new conditioning technique have been successful in eight patients, leading to new hope for cystic fibrosis patients.

Papworth Hospital is taking part in the study Credit: PA

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

"Sadly many people currently die before lungs become available. "The EVLP research is revolutionary for people with CF as it makes more lungs available and therefore offers real hope and life for many people."

Professor Andrew Fisher, who is leading the research team, said: "Unfortunately 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.

"We 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 rolled-out across the country as a new technology in lung transplantation."