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The transplanted patient develops donated kidney cancer



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Media title"I do not have to fight someone else's cancer."

A woman who says kidney transplantation has turned into a "death sentence" after she developed cancer from a donor organ, calls for an examination.

Pauline Hunt, 49, from Kilmarnock in Ayrshire, thinks that she was given a new lease of life last December, when she received the new body.

But she now has lymph node cancer and is said to be too painful to undergo chemotherapy.

The Scottish government said it wanted to learn any lessons from the case.

Hospital authorities and transplant insist on monitoring all security protocols and that transmission of undiagnosed cancer is a known risk.

The original Pauline kidney transplant was held at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow in December 2017.

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Pauline Hunt

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Pauline and her husband Gordon brought their wedding after the news

Pauline thought it was a second chance.

"I woke up the next morning and I felt great. We just had this new life.

"I was in a row for several weeks, and then I got this growth just above the kidney. They said it was liquid, but I did not feel well by the end of January."

Ten weeks after receiving the donor body, Pauline was told by a doctor that he must remove the kidney.

The donor's liver donor – a man in Newcastle – died of cancer development.

After an emergency surgery, Pauline, a former carer, was diagnosed with lymph node cancer.

"It was like a death sentence," she said.

"I do not know how long I have. I have caught a donor cancer that was supposed to be so healthy that it should not have happened."

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Pauline Hunt with her husband Gordon

Paulin hopes to make changes to the system to ensure that in the future it will be avoided.

She said: "It should not have happened, but I did it, and I have nothing to do to get it back.

"But if highlighting means that they are changing something, then we win.

"It's not even my cancer that I'm struggling now, it's someone's tumor that makes it hard for me.

"No one should fight one's tumor."

John Forsyth, the medical director of donation of organs and transplants to NHS Blood and Transplant, said: "We are aware of this tragic case and our thoughts are with recipients and their families.

"We can confirm that the investigation found that all processes were properly monitored.

"For all potential donors, we carefully check their medical history and carry out new tests. If an organ abnormality is found, we will perform a biopsy."

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Rarely in patients with transplantation is to develop cancer, but it is a risk involved in the process

He said that donation and transplantation must take place quickly and are usually followed by unexpected deaths.

"In very rare cases, it is possible that the donor has a very small tumor that can not be raised by tests that can be performed during the limited time before transplantation," he added.

"This means that the transmission of undiagnosed cancer is a known risk, although luckily it is very rare."


Organ transplantation

A total of 4,039 people had a transplant from the deceased donor in the UK last year.

The risk of transmitting previously undiagnosed cancer from donor to recipient is about 1 in 2,000 transplanted organs.

Between 2001 and 2010 in the UK, 15 out of 30,765 transplant recipients developed donor transmission cancer, of which three were killed as a consequence.

In the same period, 4,093 patients died while waiting for a transplant.


A spokesman for the Scottish government said it was "a very tragic case".

He said: "In spite of the rigorous checks and tests performed by the donated authorities carried out by specialized medical personnel, given the limited time available for donation and transplantation, it is unfortunately not possible to mitigate any risks that could be to be transmitted from the infection.

"The Secretary of Health is trying to ensure that all appropriate investigations are carried out in the circumstances of Mrs Wright's case in order to determine any lessons that can be learned, including from an audit conducted by NHS Blood and Transplant."

A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "The transplant process carries some known risks, including malignancy, and these are considered at length at different stages in preparing the patient for transplantation.

"In this case, two of our elderly doctors were pleased to continue the transplantation after this rigorous process.

"Both the patient and her family were fully informed of this investigation and its outcome which revealed that the situation could not be predicted, and the treatment and clinical decisions were appropriate and fully consistent with the strict transplant protocols."


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