Steve Jobs' return to Apple linked to liver transplant

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
While it was never entirely clear what Apple co-founder Steve Jobs would do to recuperate between January and June, a new report maintains that he's had a liver transplant and that his return to work may be gradual at first.



Claiming as always to know people familiar with Apple's inner workings, the Wall Street Journal now says that Jobs had his transplant two months earlier through doctors in Tennessee. Although these are sometimes problematic, the company head is viewed as "recovering well" and on track to resume his usual post in the often-repeated late June timeframe.



When he does set foot on the Cupertino campus in earnest, however, it's now thought that the luminary won't just take up business as usual. Jobs' physicians have reportedly advised him to only work part-time for the first "month or two" until it's certain he can handle a full slate.



As a consequence, Tim Cook, normally the chief operating officer and temporarily handling chief executive duties during Jobs' absence, may now be more involved with Apple's leadership than he has in the past. How much of this will vary from his current acting CEO role isn't clear, but it's hinted he may be placed on Apple's board of directors sometime soon, giving him greater sway over the direction of the Mac maker.



The transplant, if true, could well create a much clearer picture of what triggered Jobs' rapid weight loss in 2008 and his forced break in 2009. Washington University doctor William Hawkins believes that the pancreatic cancer that affected Jobs in 2004, once thought cured, metastasized again in his liver -- the organ most likely to continue supporting that particular form of cancer. About three quarters of all those who recover from the initial pancreatic tumor get that cancer again.



Few opt for a liver transplant, however, as spare organs are rare and there's no guarantee that replacing the cancerous organ will solve the problem. The odds are nonetheless good and again see three quarters of those who pick the transplant option surviving at least five years longer. Tennessee was likely chosen as the waiting list was shorter than in other states and feasible for a man with the income to travel wherever he could get the quickest treatment.



Not surprisingly, confirming any of these assertions proves difficult through Apple's tendency towards secrecy, and especially that of Steve Jobs, who has long expressed frustration with journalists and investors intruding into what he sees as a private matter. None of the hospitals committed to regularly performing liver transplants say they have Jobs as a patient. When asked, Apple spokeswoman Katie Cotton would only echo the company's official statement that Jobs "continues to look forward" to his end-of-June return.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 115
    Wishing you a great recovery and looking forward to your return, Steve. All the BEST!!!
  • Reply 2 of 115
    jerseymacjerseymac Posts: 408member
    Get well soon.
  • Reply 3 of 115
    chuckdchuckd Posts: 34member
    Although Steve will recover and return to work soon, the situation is clearly dire in the long term. According to the WSJ, Steve's metastasized cancer treatment will extend his lifespan to no more than 10 years. Despite being pure speculation, this is pretty bad news considering how it was initially referred to as a simple 'chemical imbalance.'



    I am deeply saddenned by the news but hope Steve beats the odds and lives on for many, many years to see his kids become of age.



    Best wishes!



    Chuck
  • Reply 4 of 115
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Why doesn't the lifespan return to normal once the cancer is removed? I don't understand.
  • Reply 5 of 115
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,515member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Why doesn't the lifespan return to normal once the cancer is removed? I don't understand.



    I doubt the issue is solely with the cancer but the organ transplant. It's a constant battle to keep the immune system from rejecting the new donor organ. After a while, the body just can't handle the stress. Some organs last longer then others post-transplant....
  • Reply 6 of 115
    rnp1rnp1 Posts: 175member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Why doesn't the lifespan return to normal once the cancer is removed? I don't understand.



    Unfortunately, even after the main group has been excised, there are usually a few cancer cells floating around in the blood until they find a nice place to stay and then they replace that cell structure with mush! We all have a few cells like that, but for some reason, in some of us, the cancer cells find a place to attach and draw nourishment to create havoc!
  • Reply 7 of 115
    bonklersbonklers Posts: 54member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    I doubt the issue is solely with the cancer but the organ transplant. It's a constant battle to keep the immune system from rejecting the new donor organ. After a while, the body just can't handle the stress. Some organs last longer then others post-transplant....



    i'm sure they'll clone an organ for him, keep details secret, and he'll be around for a long long time.
  • Reply 8 of 115
    rnp1rnp1 Posts: 175member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    I doubt the issue is solely with the cancer but the organ transplant. It's a constant battle to keep the immune system from rejecting the new donor organ. After a while, the body just can't handle the stress. Some organs last longer then others post-transplant....



    Wondering if you are next to get sick? Instead of a new iPhone or Touch, you may wanna give these folks $399 and see what your genetic material contains:

    https://www.23andme.com/

    Saw these gals on Charlie Rose.
  • Reply 9 of 115
    pascal007pascal007 Posts: 102member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ascii View Post


    Why doesn't the lifespan return to normal once the cancer is removed? I don't understand.



    Because all it takes is a single cancer cell somewhere else in the body to allow the cancer to continue its progression. And it is more than likely that this may have happened in this case. Chemotherapy is used to try to kill that elusive cell, but the efficacy of chemotherapy is far from being excellent...



    By the way all these percentages are based on cohorts of similar patients' evolution. This being a statistical description, it is in no way a prediction of Steve Jobs' fate. He could live longer, but he could also unfortunately live only a few years.



    Finally, transplants are in no way a miraculous cure : there is a very real risk of rejection of the liver, even with the 20+ pills a transplanted has to take for the rest of his life (or else the organ will be destroyed as by the body's immune system. The resulting "tug of war" between the immune system and the anti-rejection pills slows the destruction of the organ, but it does not prevent all the stress on the organ's tissues (cells), hence, a transplanted organ does not have an eternal life span. On average, a transplanted organ will last between 7 and 10 years.
  • Reply 10 of 115
    What a crazy week of Apple news! Phew! Get well Steve, we miss you.
  • Reply 11 of 115
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Is this a true story ? How could something like this remain hidden ?



    9
  • Reply 12 of 115
    kisekikiseki Posts: 31member
    I'm skeptical about this "news". If he really did suffer a relapse of his cancer, the last thing he'd want to do would be to get any kind of transplant. Cancer cells are formed in our bodies all the time but fortunately we have immune systems which destroy most of them and protect us.

    If you get a transplant and take the required immunosuppressants, that's probably the worst thing for your cancer since you're removing your only innate protection against cancer cells.



    Another thing about the liver is that it is one of the few regenerative organs in the body. You can actually remove most of a person's liver and it will grow back. Which means Jobs had such invasive cancer that he needed a liver transplant (instead of just cutting out the diseased parts), and there's no way his doctors would have let cancer progress to that stage without taking action long before.

    It makes much more sense to believe his story that it was a metabolic problem and his liver had stopped functioning. In that case, it would make sense to get a transplant and his prognosis, barring side effects from the immunosuppressants should be pretty good.
  • Reply 13 of 115
    What ever your problems Steve get well soon.
  • Reply 14 of 115
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Hope to a speedy recovery Steve!





    nevermind about what I said about your unsightly vegetable garden on your front lawn, if it brings you peace and well being, then... what the hell!
  • Reply 15 of 115
    nano_tubenano_tube Posts: 114member
    Poor man.
  • Reply 16 of 115
    nano_tubenano_tube Posts: 114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kiseki View Post


    I'm skeptical about this "news". If he really did suffer a relapse of his cancer, the last thing he'd want to do would be to get any kind of transplant. Cancer cells are formed in our bodies all the time but fortunately we have immune systems which destroy most of them and protect us.

    If you get a transplant and take the required immunosuppressants, that's probably the worst thing for your cancer since you're removing your only innate protection against cancer cells.



    Another thing about the liver is that it is one of the few regenerative organs in the body. You can actually remove most of a person's liver and it will grow back. Which means Jobs had such invasive cancer that he needed a liver transplant (instead of just cutting out the diseased parts), and there's no way his doctors would have let cancer progress to that stage without taking action long before.

    It makes much more sense to believe his story that it was a metabolic problem and his liver had stopped functioning. In that case, it would make sense to get a transplant and his prognosis, barring side effects from the immunosuppressants should be pretty good.



    I'm afraid to ask... but how do you know this stuff?
  • Reply 17 of 115
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Nano_tube View Post


    I'm afraid to ask... but how do you know this stuff?



    That's easy, he made it up. Most of what he said is incorrect.
  • Reply 18 of 115
    aueuaaueua Posts: 3member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kiseki View Post


    It makes much more sense to believe his story that it was a metabolic problem and his liver had stopped functioning. In that case, it would make sense to get a transplant and his prognosis, barring side effects from the immunosuppressants should be pretty good.



    Totally agree!

    A liver transplant to fight against pancreatic cancer's metastasis is pretty an oncologic nonsense and I guess almost any expert would discourage it.

    I urge The Wall Street Journal to find a more reliable medical consultant and/or better review its sources...



    All the best Steve!

    Aueua!
  • Reply 19 of 115
    Given, what I imagine is as good a medical support team as might be available, I will accept the most likely situation as; Steve had a failing organ; the doc's determined a transplant was the best approach; he will be watched and treated and as reported return to Apple as the situation permits.



    What we know for sure is that the media will be watching; simpleminded stockholders will panic; but for the rest of us, we will wish him the best and most complete recovery available and allow him as much privacy as is possible.



    Counting Steve Jobs out of anything is a poor bet at best!



    Press on Steve.
  • Reply 20 of 115
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DoctorLee View Post


    Given, what I imagine is as good a medical support team as might be available, I will accept the most likely situation as; Steve had a failing organ; the doc's determined a transplant was the best approach; he will be watched and treated and as reported return to Apple as the situation permits.



    What we know for sure is that the media will be watching; simpleminded stockholders will panic; but for the rest of us, we will wish him the best and most complete recovery available and allow him as much privacy as is possible.



    Counting Steve Jobs out of anything is a poor bet at best!



    Press on Steve.



    +1



    agreed





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