Doctors in France say they have made a breakthrough in the treatment of lung cancer.
Experts in Paris have removed the diseased part of the bronchus, or airway leading to the lung, and grafted a replacement made from aortic tissue.
It meant a 78-year-old patient’s lung was saved.
Surgical team leader Emmanuel Martinod said the tumour removal was a routine procedure, but when they realised it was not possible to rejoin the two bronchi, they had to think again.
In the later stages of lung cancer, only a third of patients survive for longer than a year.
But the recent recipient is described as fit and well, 16 months after the surgery.
This is the culmination of ten years of research.
Up to 30 similar operations are now being scheduled, to ascertain whether it should become a feature of routine surgery.