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Exp Clin Transplant. 2014 Jun;12(3):233-7.

Nonmelanoma skin cancer after kidney transplant.

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Department of Pathology, Baskent University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.



Solid-organ transplant recipients have a high risk of developing nonmelanoma skin cancers. This study sought to determine the incidence of skin cancer and identify possible risk factors for skin cancer in kidney transplant recipients.


Nonmelanoma skin cancer was diagnosed and confirmed with histology in 33 of 1275 kidney transplant recipients (2.6%). Demographic and clinical findings were reviewed retrospectively.


Nonmelanoma skin cancers included squamous cell carcinoma in 10 patients (30%), basal cell carcinoma in 9 patients (27%), Kaposi sarcoma in 9 patients (27%), squamous cell carcinoma in situ in 3 patients (9%), and cutaneous lymphoma in 2 patients (6%). The ratio of squamous cell carcinoma to basal cell carcinoma was 1.1:1. The mean time from transplant to skin cancer diagnosis was 65 ± 55 months (range, 0-180 mo). Immunosuppressive therapy was based on cyclosporine in 22 patients (67%), tacrolimus in 8 patients (24%), and combination therapy (cyclosporine and azathioprine) in 3 patients (9%).


Nonmelanoma skin cancer is an important clinical problem in kidney transplant recipients. Interventions that may benefit kidney transplant recipients may include intensive patient education, protection against sun exposure, and dermatologic screening programs.

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