“Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs chose to have his liver transplant performed by a Harvard University-trained surgeon with experience treating the recurrence of a rare cancer Jobs says he had in 2004,” John Lauerman and Connie Guglielmo report for Bloomberg.

“James Eason, head of transplantation at Methodist University Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, said in his first interview since Jobs’s surgery that he has replaced the livers of about 10 people with the cancer, called neuroendocrine tumor. While Jobs, 54, has confirmed he had the same rare tumor treated five years ago, he hasn’t said whether the transplant was carried out to address a recurrence of the cancer,” Lauerman and Guglielmo report.

“Publicity and referrals from Jobs’s case may help Eason, 48, who trained at Harvard Medical School-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, expand a transplant service that has tripled in size since he came to Memphis in 2006. Eason said he has received a flurry of requests to examine patients with neuroendocrine tumors since treating Jobs earlier this year,” Lauerman and Guglielmo report. “The tall, soft-spoken surgeon, who comes from a family of Tennessee doctors, said he can’t comment on the details of Jobs’s case because of medical ethics and privacy laws. Jobs is ‘a special person’ was all Eason would say about the Apple chief. ‘He’s really a genuinely nice person.'”

“Eason said he will only perform a liver transplant on a neuroendocrine tumor patient when certain that he can eliminate all the spreading cancer. His results with these patients have been about the same as those with other liver-cancer sufferers, about 70 percent of whom have healthy organs five years after surgery, he said,” Lauerman and Guglielmo report. “Overall, 91 percent of Eason’s patients have healthy livers one year after surgery, compared with a national average of 87 percent. That success rate, along with Eason’s expertise in neuroendocrine tumors and research prowess, would make the surgeon a good choice, said A. Benedict Cosimi, a Harvard surgery professor who stepped down last year as director of Massachusetts General’s transplant program and trained Eason in the early 1990s.”

“Neuroendocrine tumors, which strike only about 3,000 people in the U.S. annually, often make high levels of hormones that can disrupt digestion and other body functions, and some mature or ‘differentiate’ into forms called ‘islet cell’ and “carcinoid,'” Lauerman and Guglielmo report. “Preliminary data suggest that neuroendocrine tumor patients with characteristics similar to those of Jobs fare particularly well after a liver transplant, said USC’s Sher, who has studied 47 U.S. patients who have undergone the procedure. Of 15 whose original tumors were removed before the transplant, spread slowly and showed signs of differentiation, 14 patients are still alive. Eight of the patients have lived more than three years, and four of them have lived five years or longer; one has lived about 15 years.”

Lauerman and Guglielmo report, “Jobs’s 2004 statement indicates that his primary neuroendocrine tumor was caught and removed. Jobs said in a statement then that he had the differentiated, islet cell form of neuroendocrine tumor.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We already knew, from multiple reports in the past, that others with health issues similar to Jobs’ have fared well, so Bloomberg’s “news” is really just a rehash with today’s date slapped on it. This article’s existence is simply more confirmation that Bloomberg News and Guglielmo, in particular, seem to have formed an unhealthy obsession with Steve Jobs’ livers, past and present.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Graeme” for the heads up.]