The purpose of this study was to analyze a large series of skin cancers in solid organ transplant recipients to determine their biologic behavior.
Methods: A retrospective review of all US transplant recipients with skin cancer reported to the Israel Penn International Transplant Tumor Registry was performed.
Results: Transplant recipients from the United States with skin malignancies were identified (n = 2018) and assigned to 1 of 3 groups: squamous cell cancer (SCC), basal cell cancer (BCC), or combined malignancies (BCC/SCC). Squamous cell to basal cell cancer ratio was found to be 1.9 to 1. The ratio of extrarenal to renal allograft recipients was identical for all 3 groups (3:1). The median interval from transplant to skin cancer diagnosis was greater than 4 years in each group and longest in those with isolated SCC lesions. In the SCC group, there was a 9% incidence of nodal or secondary site involvement affecting the cervix, perineum, or lung. The highest recurrence rate was demonstrated in the combined malignancy group. Cancer-specific deaths were significantly higher in the SCC (8%) and BCC/SCC (6.8%) groups compared to the BCC (3.6%) group.
Conclusions: This large experience indicates that SCC is more common than BCC in transplant recipients. SCC alone or in combination with BCC appears aggressive and is associated with significant mortality.