Organ recipients suffering from undifferentiated neuroendocrine small-cell carcinoma of donor origin: a case report

TitleOrgan recipients suffering from undifferentiated neuroendocrine small-cell carcinoma of donor origin: a case report
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsFoltys D, Linkermann A, Heumann A, Hoppe-Lotichius M, Heise M, Schad A, Schneider J, Bender K, Schmid M, Mauer D, Peixoto N, Otto G
JournalTransplant Proc
Pagination2639 - 42
Date PublishedJul-Aug
ISSN1873-2623 (Electronic) 0041-1345 (Linking)
Accession Number19715991
Keywords*Tissue Donors, alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency / *surgery, Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use, Carboplatin / therapeutic use, Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / pathology / *surgery, Carcinoma, Small Cell / *pathology, DNA Fingerprinting, Embolization, Therapeutic / *methods, Etoposide / therapeutic use, Heart Transplantation / immunology / pathology, Humans, Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use, Kidney Transplantation / immunology / pathology, Liver Neoplasms / drug therapy / pathology / *surgery, Liver Transplantation / *methods, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Metastasis / genetics / pathology, Nephrectomy

BACKGROUND: Transmission of donor-derived cancer by organ transplantation is rare, but the risk has been increasing due to the aging donor pool. Undifferentiated neuroendocrine small-cell carcinoma is an aggressive tumor with the tendency to spread. Herein we have demonstrated different approaches to treat organ recipients with transmitted tumors. METHODS AND RESULTS: Grafts were retrieved from a decreased donor without any history of previous diseases. Autopsy was not performed after donation. The recipient of the liver graft presented with suspected nodules on routine abdominal ultrasound. After computed tomography (CT) scan, biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of a small-cell carcinoma. Donor origin was unequivocally identified by DNA fingerprinting. Despite chemotherapy the patient died 7 months after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). All involved transplantation centers were informed immediately following diagnosis. The male kidney recipient underwent detailed diagnostic work-up to exclude tumor transmission. One year after transplantation, liver metastases caused by a histologically proven small-cell carcinoma from the same donor were apparent. Chemotherapy was immediately started and the graft was removed. Despite continued treatment the tumor progressed and the patient died after repeated intestinal complications. The pathological examination of the explanted second kidney graft did not show any tumor infiltration. CONCLUSION: Therapeutic regimens in recipients suffering from donor-derived carcinoma differ depending on the transplanted organ. Graft removal of non-life-sustaining organs and discontinuation of immunosuppressive medication should result in complete tumor rejection. Minimizing the risk of tumor transmission, a CT scan might be advisable in donors of more advanced age.

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