Patients with primary brain tumors as organ donors: case report and review of the literature

TitlePatients with primary brain tumors as organ donors: case report and review of the literature
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsPunnett AS, McCarthy LJ, Dirks PB, Hawkins C, Bouffet E
Date PublishedJul

Malignancy is considered a contra-indication to organ donation, with a few possible exceptions. We present the case of a child with fatal intracranial hemorrhage from a primary brain tumor (PBT) whose organs were denied for transplant after recovery. We review the literature of organ donors with PBTs in the context of the current organ shortage and discuss the implications for the practicing oncologist. Transmission of donor brain tumor to organ recipients has been documented but the incidence appears to be very low. Risk factors for tumor transmission include underlying donor tumor histology, history of craniotomy and/or shunt placement, use of systemic chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and duration of disease prior to donation. Ongoing data collection by national registries will provide more information on the potential risk to organ recipients. It may be appropriate to expand the donor pool to include donors with PBTs in certain situations. The transplantation team ultimately decides upon the use of organs from specific donors. Many families will appreciate the opportunity to donate specific tissues even if solid organ transplantation is prohibited.

Alternate JournalPediatr Blood Cancer
Notify Library Reference ID4709

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