Skin cancer following transplantation: the Israel Penn International Transplant Tumor Registry experience

Transplant Proc. 2005 Mar;37(2):962-3. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2004.12.062.


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.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms, Basal Cell / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Recurrence
  • Registries*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • United States / epidemiology