Global Cancer Burden to Surge by 2030: Lancet Study

The esteemed British medical journal posted the study online June 1. Authors of another new article recommend continuing the practice of transplanting the lungs of previous smokers because the recipients live longer than those on waiting lists.

Two new articles posted online by The Lancet provide a worrisome forecast of worldwide cancer mortality in the next 20 years along with encouraging news for lung transplant recipients.

The first, from American and French researchers, predicts cancer will surge by 2030 in every region of the world –- from 12.7 million new cases in 2008 to 22.2 million by 2030. The authors said rapid societal and economic transition in many countries means any reduction in infection-related cancers will be offset by more new cases more associated with reproductive, dietary, and hormonal factors. However, they also conclude prevention strategies including vaccination and early detection can reduce the projected increases in cancer burden.

British researchers wrote the second paper after analyzing how 510 lung transplant recipients from July 1999 to December 2010 fared on three-year survival after receiving lungs from donors who had smoked. The comparison group was people who remained on a waiting list for a potential transplant from a brain-dead donor who had not smoked.

They found while the recipients of lungs from donors who had smoked had a worse survival rate than recipients of lungs from non-smokers, their rates were better than transplant candidates on the waiting list. Of 2,181 people on the waiting list during the period, 802 died or were moved from the list without receiving a transplant, the authors reported. The UK has an organ selection policy that uses lungs from donors with positive smoking histories, and it should continue, they recommended, adding that potential lung transplant recipients should be fully informed about the survival outcomes.

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