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Cancer in a renal transplant recipient 

Cancer in a renal transplant recipient
Cancer in a renal transplant recipient

Christine Parkinson

and Thankamma Ajithkumar

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date: 26 January 2021

Cancer is a well-known complication of organ transplantation. Cancer can occur de novo, as a recurrence of pre-existing malignancy, or from transmission of cancer from the donor. The most common de novo transplant-associated cancers are those of the skin and lymphoreticular system. Management of cancer in transplant patients poses a unique challenge. Principles of cancer management are similar to non-transplant patients but need to be modified to avoid the risk of a graft loss. Generally, there is no contraindication to surgery. Delivery of radiotherapy can be challenging particularly when tumour is in close proximity to the allograft. Chemotherapy is associated with an increased risk of graft loss due to direct cytogenetic effects, as a result of interactions with anti-rejection drugs, and an increased risk of sepsis. Therefore, immunosuppressants and chemotherapy may need to be modified in cancer patients with allografts.

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