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Liver Int. 2010 Oct;30(9):1247-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2010.02303.x.

Risk factors and incidence of de novo malignancy in liver transplant recipients: a systematic review.

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Department of Medicine, UCLA-Oliver View Medical Center, Pfleger Liver Institute, Sylmar, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Orthotopic liver transplant (OLT) is an established life saving procedure for both acute and chronic liver failure, but incidences and risk factors for development of these malignancies are yet to be established. To determine the incidences and risk factors associated with de novo malignancy after OLT. We performed a systematic review of relevant epidemiological studies available on MEDLINE, which provided information on the incidences and risk factors for the development malignancies in adult OLT recipients published from 1983 to 2009. All data was compiled from retrospective studies. Independent risk factors for the development of de novo malignancy in adult OLT recipients were identified to be statistically significant including immunosuppression, hepatitis C virus infection, smoking, alcoholic cirrhosis and sun exposure. OLT recipients with smoking and alcohol history are of particular risk for head and neck and lung cancers. Primary sclerosing cholangitis and inflammatory bowel disease were found to be independent risk factors for colon cancer. Adult OLT recipients are at increased risk for the development of post-transplant malignancies and obviates the need for surveillance protocols that are safe and cost-effective. OLT recipients should be advised on taking proper precautions in the sun, smoking cessation, and eliminating alcohol consumption. Given the emergence of alcoholic cirrhosis as a leading indication for liver transplantation, the early detection of lung and head and neck cancers is of particular importance.

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