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Ann Surg Oncol. 2002 Oct;9(8):785-8.

Malignancy after renal transplantation: incidence and role of type of immunosuppression.

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Division of General Surgery, McGill University Health Center, Montreal, Quebec.



Cancer, particularly skin cancer and lymphoma, is a complication of posttransplantation immunosuppression. We investigated the characteristics of cancers in our renal transplant population, the role of type of immunosuppression on cancer incidence, and whether newer, more potent immunosuppressive agents produce cancers sooner after transplantation.


The charts of patients who developed cancer after renal transplantation between 1958 and 2000 were reviewed. Statistical analyses were performed with the mid-P version of Fisher's exact test for 2 x 2 tables for incidence comparison of cancer and with Student's t-test for differences between mean times to cancer.


Between 1958 and 2000, 924 transplantations in 760 patients were performed. We found a cancer incidence of 12.2%. The most frequent cancers were skin and genitourinary. The overall mortality was 54%. We found an increased incidence of cancer in the group of patients in the cyclosporine era and for patients >or=45 years at transplantation. Cancer did not develop sooner in the cyclosporine group.


The distribution of types of cancer was similar to that reported in the literature. The mortality rate was high. The incidence of cancer was higher in the cyclosporine era in patients >or=45 years at transplantation.

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