The start-up Company, XOR Labs, based in Toronto, “one the world’s capital cities in terms of lung transplantation”, is endeavouring to export “a machine to preserve the lungs following a transplant”. This compact device “can store lungs under a glass dome for several hours prior to implantation”. The technique was developed in Canada fifteen years ago and tested in France at Foch de Suresnes Hospital. The aim is to “give doctors the time they need to ‘treat’ the transplant organs prior to transplantation”. Jon Rogers, General Operating Manager at XOR Labs explained that, “nowadays, 85% of lungs harvested from brain-dead patients end up in clinical waste”, but with this technique known as EVLP (ex vivo lungs perfusion), “we can double or even triple the number of organs available for transplant”. For Professor Edouard Sage, who carries out transplants at Suresnes, “the benefit is real even if it is more limited than was initially announced. This technique can increase the number of transplanted organs by 15 to 20% – and the figure is already quite high (371 recipients in 2016). We could mainly cure oedemas. A lot more time is required for more serious disorders”.
Furthermore, the device could “cut routine transplant costs in Canada by $80 000”, by limiting the length of time patients spend in hospital. This saving would off-set the $400,000 dollars, plus the $30,000 spent on “consumables” for each operation.
The company is considering adapting its machine to kidney preservation or using it for auto-grafts: “Technically, it would be feasible to isolate one of the lungs from a cancer patient, and administer intense chemotherapy before reimplanting it”.
Le Figaro Santé, Tristan Vey (3/05/2017)