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Curr Opin Oncol. 2012 Sep;24(5):517-21. doi: 10.1097/CCO.0b013e328355e0d7.

Malignancy in the HIV-infected patients undergoing liver and kidney transplantation.

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  • 1Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, West Hollywood, California, USA.



The transplant community has seen the gradual acceptance of liver and kidney transplantation in carefully selected HIV-positive patients. The addition of transplant immunosuppressants to an already immunocompromised state, however, may increase the risk of malignancy.


Kidney transplantation and liver transplantation have been successful in large series of carefully selected HIV-infected patients, with graft and patient survival approaching those of non-HIV-infected patients. The incidence of acute cellular rejection (kidney transplantation) and of recurrent hepatitis C (liver transplantation) remains challenging. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which is a common indication for liver transplantation, seems to occur at a younger age and to have a generally worse outcome in the HIV-positive patients. Liver transplantation outcomes for HCC in these patients, however, do not seem to be compromised. Rates of Kaposi's sarcoma and other de-novo malignancies such as skin cancer are relatively low after transplant. Kaposi's sarcoma may regress with the use of the mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitor sirolimus. In HIV-positive patients followed closely for human papilloma virus (HPV)-related anal neoplasia after transplantation, there may be an increased risk of progression to high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions.


The risk of recurrent or de-novo malignancy after solid-organ transplantation in HIV patients is low. HPV-related neoplasia, however, requires further study.

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