Treatment Saves Doctor with Lung Cancer Following a News Report Discovery

By iMedix
Updated 2024-04-02 07:12:17 | Published 2024-04-02 07:12:17
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Dr. Gary Gibbon

Dr. Gary Gibbon, a pulmonologist diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, found hope for survival through a groundbreaking treatment reported by NBC News. Despite rigorous chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy, Gibbon’s cancer remained, damaging his lungs irreversibly. Facing limited options, he recalled an NBC News story about a novel double lung transplant technique for late-stage lung cancer patients at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

Gibbon's journey toward recovery was far from straightforward. The California-based doctor's cancer had not spread outside his lungs, making him a suitable candidate for the transplant. However, another hurdle arose when tests showed liver failure due to his cancer treatments, necessitating a triple transplant – a procedure yet to be performed in the U.S.

Under Dr. Ankit Bharat and Dr. Satish Nadig's guidance at Northwestern, the complex operation involved a double lung and liver transplant. The team, navigating uncharted medical territory, faced challenges like safely transporting Gibbon from Los Angeles to Chicago and executing the demanding procedure. They utilized a state-of-the-art liver perfusion machine, or “liver in a box,” to sustain the donated liver while surgeons replaced Gibbon’s diseased lungs.

Remarkably, the surgery, typically taking at least 14 hours, was completed in 10. Six months post-operation, Gibbon emerged cancer-free. His wife, Nola Roller, recounts the profound relief of seeing his new lungs function, a moment of sheer beauty for her.

This medical feat demonstrates the potential of skilled teams to redefine the boundaries of possible treatments. Dr. Bharat sees a future where more transplant centers will undertake complex surgeries of this kind, encouraged by Gibbon's successful case.

Reflecting on the pivotal role media played in connecting Gibbon to the life-saving treatment, Roller expressed gratitude. If not for the news report, she believes her husband would not have survived. The case underscores the importance of patients exploring all options, especially when conventional treatments seem exhausted.

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