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J Hepatol. 2001 Jan;34(1):84-91.

Increased cancer risk after liver transplantation: a population-based study.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospital Groningen, The Netherlands.



Development of de novo malignancies emerges as a serious long term complication after liver transplantation.


We reviewed the medical records of 174 adult one-year survivors for de novo malignancies. The observed cancer rates were compared with the expected cancer rates in the Dutch population.


Twenty-one of the 174 patients developed 23 malignancies (12%). Skin and lip cancer accounted for 12 of the 23 malignancies (52%). Only one patient had a B-cell lymphoma. The cumulative risk for de novo malignancy was 6, 20, and 55% at 5, 10, and 15 years after transplantation, respectively. The overall relative risk (RR) as compared with the general population was 4.3 (95% confidence interval 2.4-7.1). Significantly increased RRs were observed for non-melanoma skin cancer (RR 70.0), non-skin solid cancer (RR 2.7), renal cell cancer (RR 30.0), and colon cancer (RR 12.5). Multivariate analysis showed that an age > 40 years and pretransplant use of immunosuppression were significant risk factors.


An increased risk of cancer exists after liver transplantation, for both for skin/lip cancer, and other solid tumors. Older age and the use of immunosuppression are risk factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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