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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012;13(9):4335-9.

Sirolimus and non-melanoma skin cancer prevention after kidney transplantation: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1Department of Pharmaceutics, the Third Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.



Whether sirolimus is useful in the prevention of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) remains unclear and we therefore performed this meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to test the hypothesis that Sirolimus-based immunosuppression is associated with a decrease in NMSC.


The main outcomes were NMSC, squamous-cell carcinoma and basal-cell carcinoma. The pooled risk ratio (RR) with its 95% confidence interval (95%CI) were used to assess the effects.


5 randomized trials involving a total of 1499 patients receiving kidney transplantation were included. Patients undergoing Sirolimus-based immunosuppression had much lower risk of NMSC (RR = 0.49, 95%CI 0.32-0.76, P = 0.001). Subgroup analyses by tumor type showed that Sirolimus-based immunosuppression significantly decreased risk of both squamous-cell carcinoma (RR = 0.58, 95%CI 0.43-0.78, P < 0.001) and basal-cell carcinoma (RR = 0.56, 95%CI 0.37-0.85, P = 0.006). The quality of evidence was high for NMSC, and moderate for squamous-cell carcinoma and basal-cell carcinoma. No evidence of publication bias was observed.


High quality evidence suggests that Sirolimus-based immunosuppression decreases risk of non-melanoma skin cancer, and Sirolimus has an antitumoral effect among kidney-transplant recipients.

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