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Incidence of Kidney Cancer After Renal Transplant

By: Joseph Cupolo
Posted: Thursday, December 14, 2017

Renal transplant patients are at increased risk of renal cell carcinoma, and due to the rapid growth and metastasis of renal cell carcinoma, renal ultrasounds (US) have been used as a screening tool. However, according to a team of researchers from Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Norfolk, Virginia, and other institutions in Virginia, there are no agreed-upon guidelines on the frequency of US after renal transplantation.

Thus, at Kidney Week 2017 in New Orleans, hosted by the American Society of Nephrology, Thomas R. McCune, MD, and his colleagues presented the results of their 9-year retrospective review of outcomes regarding patients who underwent renal transplantation (Abstract SA-PO520). In total, the medical records from January 1, 2007, to October 31, 2016, of 543 renal transplant recipients (between the ages of 21 and 75 at transplant) at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital were analyzed. If renal malignancy was found, the investigators noted tumor characteristics such as the timing of development, mass location, pathology, staging, and outcome.

Interestingly, the incidence of renal cell carcinoma was 2.2% and found in 92% of men and 8% of women. The incidence of US use for years 0–1, 1–3, 3–5, 5–7, and 7–9 post-transplant was 0.18%, 0.73%, 1.29%, 0%, and 0%, respectively.

“We discovered that renal ultrasound at 1, 3, 5, and 7 years post-transplant identified all renal cell carcinomas and that they remained localized within the kidney,” the researchers explained. However, they did recommend follow-up of the remaining kidney after nephrectomy should continue to be required.