Clinical course of malignancies in renal transplant recipients

TitleClinical course of malignancies in renal transplant recipients
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1993
AuthorsBarrett WL, First MR, Aron BS, Penn I
Pagination2186 - 9
Date PublishedOct 1
Accession Number8374876
KeywordsAdult, Female, Humans, Immunosuppression / adverse effects, Kidney Diseases / surgery, Kidney Transplantation / *adverse effects, Male, Melanoma / physiopathology, Middle Aged, Neoplasms / mortality / pathology / *physiopathology, Prognosis, Skin Neoplasms / physiopathology

BACKGROUND. The incidence of cancers after renal transplantation is significantly higher than in populations that have not undergone transplantation. The authors report a group of renal transplant patients from the University of Cincinnati who had cancer develop; the focus is on the patients' clinical course. METHODS. Since 1968, 876 renal transplantations have been performed for a variety of causes of end stage renal disease. Charts of transplant patients who had neoplasms were reviewed. RESULTS. Forty-four patients had epithelial skin cancers, and 36 had nonskin cancers or melanoma. No correlations could be established between disease course and type of immunosuppressive agent, type of disease for which transplantation was required, or type of renal allograft donor. The skin cancers demonstrated a propensity for multifocality: 22 of the 44 patients had multiple separate lesions develop. Of the patients with cancer not of the skin, six were treated surgically for carcinoma in situ, and none have experienced disease recurrence. Of 11 patients treated for early invasive disease, 6 are disease-free, 3 died of intercurrent disease, and 2 died of progressive disease 11 and 13 months, respectively, after disease diagnosis. Nineteen patients had advanced disease, and only 1 is alive and disease-free. Sixteen died of progressive disease at a median of 1 month from the time of diagnosis, and 2 died of intercurrent disease within 1 week of diagnosis. CONCLUSIONS. The natural history of cancers developing in renal transplant patients often is more aggressive than would be expected in patients who have not undergone transplants. The immunosuppression induced to allow viability of the renal allograft may allow tumor cells to thrive.

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