Posted on November 9th, 2011 by
People who have received a solid organ transplant (such as a kidney or liver) are twice as likely as people in the general population to develop cancer. These results were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In 2010, more than 28,000 solid organ transplants were performed in the United States. These procedures can be life-saving for people with advanced organ disease.
Cancer risk is known to be elevated among transplant recipients. Immunosuppression is thought to play an important role in this increased risk, but other factors may contribute as well.
To further explore cancer risk among transplant recipients, researchers collected information about 175,732 transplants. The median age at the time of transplant was 47. The most common types of transplanted organs were kidney (58%), liver (22%), heart (10%), and lung (4%).
The study suggests that organ transplant recipients are at increased risk for a wide range of cancers. The reasons for this have not yet been fully explored, but possible explanations include loss of immunologic control of cancer-associated viruses, chronic immune disturbance or inflammation, underlying medical conditions, and medication toxicity.
Reference: Engels EA, Pfeiffer RM, Fraumeni JF et al. Spectrum of cancer risk among US solid organ transplant recipients. JAMA. 2011;306:1891-1901.
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Tags: General Lung Cancer, General Renal Cancer, Health and Wellness, Liver Cancer, Lung Cancer, News, Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Renal Cancer, Screening/Prevention Liver Cancer, Screening/Prevention Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
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