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Does Renal Transplant Rejection Influence Risk of Developing Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

By: Cordi Craig
Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2018

According to a new study, published in Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, patients who experience renal transplant rejection episodes may be at an increased risk of developing cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma after surgery. The study authors, led by C. J. Puza, MD, of Duke University School of Medicine, also found that the transplant rejection population developed the disease more quickly than patients without transplant rejection.

“Organ transplant recipients are at increased risk for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, and the tumors they develop tend to be more aggressive,” the authors stated. “Close dermatological surveillance should be considered following an episode of rejection in this patient population.”

The investigators used the Duke Enterprise Data Unified Content Explorer historical database to identify 1,684 patients who had undergone renal transplant. Within this patient population, 126 patients (7.5%) experienced transplant rejection, and 46 patients (4.0%) developed a cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma after surgery.

Of the 126 patients who experienced transplant rejection, 11 developed cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (8.7%), compared with 35 of the 1,558 patients who developed the disease without transplant rejection (2.2%; P < .001). Patients who experienced transplant rejection developed the disease more quickly than those in the no-rejection cohort. The median time to the development of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in the no-rejection group was 4.17 years compared with 2.53 years in the rejection group (P < 0.03).

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