About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us

Higher Death Rates in Organ Recipients With Previous Cancers

by Julia Samuel on April 22, 2016 at 2:01 PM
Font : A-A+

Higher Death Rates in Organ Recipients With Previous Cancers

People who had cancer before receiving an organ transplant were more likely to die of any cause, die of cancer or develop a new cancer than organ recipients who did not previously have cancer, a new paper has found. However, the increased risk is less than that reported in some previous studies.

Previous research has shown that cancer survivors were at increased risk of cancer recurrence after a transplant. But the findings regarding the risk of death and developing a new cancer were inconsistent.


The paper published today in the journal Transplantation confirms cancer survivors have a higher mortality rate and a higher rate of new cancer than organ recipients with no history of cancer, said lead author Dr. Sergio Acuna, a physician who is a PhD student in clinical epidemiology at St. Michael's Hospital.

The association between higher rates of death, death from cancer and new cancers did not vary according to the type of organ that was transplanted, the paper found. Publication of the paper coincides with National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week in Canada.

The critical shortage of organs for transplants means that clinicians and policy makers must ensure scarce donor organs are given to the patients who would benefit the most from them. And as the population ages, the average age of transplant patients is also rising, meaning the number of organ recipients with previous cancers is expected to increase.

Dr. Acuna said his paper did not examine whether the association between higher deaths, higher deaths from cancer and the development of new cancers was caused by characteristics of the organ donor or some other factor such as the type of immunosuppressant drug.

He noted that previous studies have shown that transplant recipients with previous cancers were more likely to have received organs from "expanded criteria donors" (older donors who may have had medical conditions such as high blood pressure, or who died as a result of a stoke), or to have spent prolonged time on dialysis.

Both of these are factors are associated with deaths from cardiovascular incidents, such as a heart attack or stroke, and rejection of a transplanted organ.

Dr. Acuna said more research was needed to determine the length of time between when a patient was deemed to be in remission or cured of cancer before he or she could receive an organ transplant to minimize the risk of cancer recurrence without increasing the risk of death from other causes.

Dr. Nancy Baxter, the senior author on the paper and a colorectal surgeon at St Michael's, said transplant patients with a history of cancer may also need closer monitoring to detect recurrent and new cancers early. No specific recommendations on screening for second malignancies in these patients exist.

She said there was also a need to better understand and mitigate the cancer risk in transplant recipients with a history of cancer, focusing on cancer prevention and early detection. The paper is a meta-analysis of 33 cohort studies involving almost 400,000 patients in 12 countries.

Organ recipients with previous cancer had at any given time 1.5 times greater risk of dying than those with no previous cancer. This paper did not look at studies about patients who received a transplant for the treatment of their cancer, such as patients with liver cancer who may receive a liver transplant.

Source: Eurekalert

News A-Z
What's New on Medindia
Alarming Cesarean Section Trends in India - Convenience or Compulsion of Corporate Healthcare
Quiz on Low-Calorie Diet for Diabetes
World Heart Day in 2022- Use Heart for Every Heart
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Tongue Abnormalities Death Facts Bereavement 

Most Popular on Medindia

Drug Interaction Checker Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Find a Doctor Accident and Trauma Care Hearing Loss Calculator Drug Side Effects Calculator Color Blindness Calculator A-Z Drug Brands in India Selfie Addiction Calculator
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use

Higher Death Rates in Organ Recipients With Previous Cancers Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests