Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Coverage from Every Angle

Risk Factors for Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers in Recipients of Kidney Transplant

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Tuesday, August 6, 2019

According to research published in Medicina, Elisa Zavattaro, MD, PhD, of the University of Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy, and colleagues identified several risk factors for the development of multiple non-melanoma skin cancers in kidney transplant recipients, primarily older age at diagnosis and actinic damage. Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common malignancies experienced by recipients of organ transplant, and the occurrence of such carcinomas increases proportionally as immunosuppression continues.

The study included 518 Italian patients who had received kidney transplants between 2001 and 2017, 148 of whom (28.6%) were diagnosed with keratinocyte cancer. Of those with skin cancer, 77 patients developed a single tumor, 31 experienced 2 skin cancers, 21 sustained 3 skin cancers, and 19 developed 4 or more skin cancers. Using Cox regression analysis, the researchers identified a significant relationship between increased non-melanoma skin cancer risk and both actinic damage and solar lentigo. In addition, patients who underwent a transplant after age 50 had an increased risk for carcinoma development. Additional observed risk factors included male gender, light skin color, and a history of sun damage.

“In conclusion, our study highlights the striking effect of chronic sun damage and of the consequent cancerization field in increasing both the overall risk of [non-melanoma skin cancer] and the risk of developing multiple keratinocyte tumors in [kidney transplant recipients]. Based on these results, the role of periodic skin examination in transplanted subjects and every effort in promoting prevention against [non-melanoma skin cancers] are confirmed to be of primary importance,” concluded the investigators.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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