According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Transplantation, researchers from Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, have found that patients with liver cancer have the same positive outcomes using organs donated by patients who died as a result of cardiac death.
For the study, researchers identified 397 patients with liver cancer who received a new liver. Of those, 340 were from a person died after brain death and 57 were donated after cardiac death. Results showed that cancer recurrence occurred in about 12% of patients in both groups.
Previous studies have suggest that livers donated after cardiac death result in worse outcomes in patients with liver cancer because the liver has suffered oxygen deprivation.
"Our program has one of the largest experiences in the world with liver transplants using donations after cardiac death," says the study's lead investigator, transplant surgeon Kristopher P. Croome, M.D. "We now know that these organs effectively offer new life for patients with liver cancer."
Patients with liver cancer can be cured with a liver transplant. But because of the shortage of donated organs, these patients often die waiting for a liver. That’s because most transplant centers predominantly use livers from donors who die from brain death.