Organ retrieval in donors suspected of cancer: single-center experience

TitleOrgan retrieval in donors suspected of cancer: single-center experience
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
Authors, Matuszek M, Pilat J, Furmaga J, Borawska M
Date PublishedOct


The transmission of cancerous cells with a transplanted organ is among the most serious complications of transplant surgery. Detailed preoperative tests seek to reduce the risk of transmission of viral and bacterial infections as well as to prevent donor-derived malignancy following organ transplantation. The objective of this study was to report our experience among cadaveric donors who we suspected of cancer.

We performed a retrospective search of the medical records of 75 potential cadaveric donors referred to our unit between January 2007 and December 2010. Our focus, however, was on donors suspected of cancer.

Among 75 potential cadaveric donors 22 (29%) revealed features suggestive of cancer: physical signs of tumor pre- or intraoperatively: elevation of serum levels of a cancer marker; or an abnormal finding on radiological imaging. Among the latter group, 15 donors necessitated urgent histopathologic examination to rule out or confirm cancer. In four cases, organ transplantation was abandoned following the examination, including three cases in which a tissue diagnosis of cancer was evident and in one case, the examination was inconclusive to exclude cancer. In the remaining 14 cases, the histopathologic examination did not reveal cancer; thus transplantation was performed.

Thorough histopathologic examination is essential in all potential donors who are suspected of cancer to prevent donor-derived malignancy following transplantation. In some cases, however, the tissue sampling is not conclusive; hence, transplantation must be abandoned. Even the most precise examination of the donor does not protect the recipient from the risk of transmission of cancer.

Alternate JournalTransplant Proc
Notify Library Reference ID4716

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