This medical video explores the amazing advancements that have been made in lung transplant.
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Jennifer Matthews: This daunting row of pills is a necessary part of an organ recipient's life. Bill Settino: I take about 25 to 29 pills a day. Sometimes, I don't have to eat. Jennifer Matthews: It's a lot, but when an autoimmune disease caused his lungs to start failing, Bill Settino was running out of options. Bill Settino: I had 54% capacity in one and 46 in the other. Jennifer Matthews: A lung transplant was his last hope. But even with strong medications, the organ is often rejected. Aldo Iacono: There have not been advances in therapeutics in lung transplantation over the last 10 years, so that the average survival is only about three to four years. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Aldo Iacono may have an advance that can extend Bill's life even more. Three times a week, for two years, transplant patients breathe in an aerosol form of the anti-rejection drug cyclosporine. Aldo Iacono: The concept is that if you inhale the drug, it'll go directly into the lung where rejection takes place. Jennifer Matthews: Early studies are exciting. Patients function better and survive longer. Aldo Iacono: It's hard for me to believe it myself but they are what they are. Jennifer Matthews: Four years after his transplant, Bill has all the confirmation he needs. Bill Settino: I've been off it about two and a half years and I still have not had rejection, so maybe that's the reason that I didn't because of the cyclosporine. Jennifer Matthews: He's back to working full-time and looking forward to many years to come. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.