Objective: To evaluate the demographic characteristics, clinical course, and outcome in organ transplant recipients with metastatic skin cancer.
Design and setting: An international, multicenter, Internet-coordinated collaborative group retrospectively analyzed data from 68 organ transplant recipients with 73 distinct metastatic skin cancers.
Main outcome measurements: The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate the cumulative incidence of relapse, overall survival, and disease-specific survival after metastatic skin cancer. Univariate Cox proportional hazards models were fit to evaluate factors for an association with survival.
Results: Metastasis from skin cancer in organ transplant recipients most commonly consisted of squamous cell carcinoma in regional nodal basins. It was predominantly treated with a combination of surgery and irradiation. By 1 year after metastasis, the cumulative incidence of relapse was 29%, and the 3-year disease-specific survival was 56%. Patients whose initial metastases were distant or systemic had a significantly poorer disease-specific survival than those whose initial metastases were in-transit or regional (risk ratio, 6.5; P<.001).
Conclusions: Metastatic skin cancer in organ transplant recipients has a poor prognosis. Preventive, early, and aggressive therapeutic interventions are required to minimize this serious complication of transplant-associated immunosuppression.