THREE people died of breast cancer after catching the killer disease from the same donor, reports claim.
The female donor, 53, donated her kidneys, lungs, heart and liver to patients after dying from a stroke in 2007.
AP / National Institutes of Health Three people died from breast cancer they caught from a donor. This is a a culture of human breast cancer cells
But, because doctors never picked up the cancerous cells in her vital organs, they acted as a deadly Trojan Horse.
Four of the five recipients died within six years, according to the American Journal of Transplantation.
Three of them passed away after picking up breast cancer which then spread to their healthy organs.
And the heart patient died from sepsis, which occurs when the body attacks its own organs trying to deal with an infection.
Getty – Contributor The patients contracted the cancer from a woman who died from a stroke in 2007
Experts have said the odds of catching cancer from a single organ transplant are as little as one in 10,000.
This case was revealed by the University of Tübingen in Germany and VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam.
They said the first patient to fall ill from the transplant was a 42-year-old woman who received both lungs.
She died in 2009 after the cancer which started in her lungs spread to both her bones and liver.
Rise in number of Brits waiting for lung transplants
THE number of Brits waiting for a lung transplant has risen by nearly 50 per cent.
NHS Blood and Transplant said there were 242 patients needing lungs in 2013 — now it is 354.
Transplant chiefs are urging more people to join the donor register.
Most of Britain’s 25m donors are over 50 and many have health problems which mean their lungs are not usable.
NHS spokesman John Forsythe said: "Last year, 65 people died on the lung transplant waiting list.
"Many of those lives could have been saved had more families said yes to donation.
"Sadly, many donation opportunities are lost because families don’t know if their loved one wanted to be a donor or not."
Getty – Contributor
Only one person who caught the breast cancer cells survivedTests were immediately carried out on the woman, 62, who got the left kidney and the man, 32, who got the right one.
While the man survived, the woman died two months after she was diagnosed with cancer of the liver in 2014.
The third patient to die from breast cancer was a woman, 59, who received a liver.
Her tumour was found in 2011 but she refused a new one and eventually died in 2014.
The disease is referred to as breast cancer even when it starts elsewhere because that is where it originated.
Authors of the report said the "extraordinary case points out the often fatal consequences of donor-derived breast cancer and suggests that removal of the donor organ and restoration of immunity can induce complete remission".