The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Steve Jobs traveled to Tennessee to have a liver transplant around two months ago.  He is recovering well and is expected to return to work on schedule later this month, though he may work part-time initially.

Bloomberg originally reported that Jobs was considering a liver transplant on January 16th.  They cited people monitoring his illness and said it was a result of complications after treatment for pancreatic cancer in 2004.  When contacted by Bloomberg, Jobs said: “Why don’t you guys leave me alone — why is this important?” 

… the transplant might work out well in a patient whose neuroendocrine cancer began in the pancreas, in part because this tumor type often spreads only to the liver and grows so slowly. Even after having had a Whipple procedure, a patient might expect to have good quality of life, he said.

“The outcome can be quite good,” he said. “With immunosuppressive drugs, the patient can expect to have a significant, durable life expectancy.”

Some liver transplant patients get part of an organ from a living donor. After the operation, the livers of the donor and recipient grow back to normal size.

A patient getting a liver transplant for a neuroendocrine tumor that has spread from the pancreas might get a partial organ, Brower said. Complete organs that come from cadavers are in short supply, and are generally reserved for patients with liver failure, cirrhosis or certain kinds of liver cancer, he said.

Other sources have chimed in over the past months, some similar, some much less so.

In April, Barron’s quoted PEHub Blog as saying:


I spoke with a well-connected business person in Memphis this morning who says that there is a house in a swank neighborhood there that has been bought for a princely sum and is undergoing minor renovations in preparation for its new resident.

He says he has reason to believe Apple CEO Steve Jobs is moving to the city to treat his pancreatic cancer.

Normally, I’d just throw this out as wild speculation. Except St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis happens to be one of the best endocrinology centers in the world and one of the top oncology spots for kids. If there’s one place in the U.S. with researchers equipped to tackle Jobs’ health problems, St. Jude may be it.

Just to be clear, this is a single source tip. We’ve decided not to chase it further as it’s not about VCs, but I thought you might enjoy speculating about it.

There are other reasons for choosing Tennessee. As pointed out by the WSJ, there are no residency requirements for transplants there, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, and the state’s list of patients waiting for transplants is shorter than in many other states.  Tennessee has a median of 48 days, rather that the national median of 306.

The WSJ also speculated that Tim Cook could see an increased role at Apple going forward, including perhaps a board seat.


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