Post-transplant de novo malignancies in renal transplant recipients: the past and present

Transpl Int. 2006 Aug;19(8):607-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-2277.2006.00330.x.


Post-transplant de novo malignancies are reviewed in three time periods: (i) the azathioprine (AZA) era from 1962 to 1980-1981, (ii) the cyclosporine (CYA) era (1980 to present) in which the calcineurin inhibitors, CYA and tacrolimus (TAC), were the mainstay of recipient immunosuppression, and (iii) the TOR inhibitor era starting in the year 2000. Both transplant registry and transplant center reports on malignancies occurring in the AZA era are reviewed. Reports from transplant centers and from the Cincinnati Transplant Tumor Registry (CTTR) in both the early CYA era (1980s) and the 1900-2000 CYA era are reported. Cancer incidence associated with AZA versus CYA, CYA versus TAC, and AZA versus mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is compared in both transplant center and registry reports including new, unreported Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing (OPTN/UNOS) data from 1998 to 2003. The malignancy incidence associated with lymphocyte-depleting antibody and corticosteroid immunosuppression is discussed. Reduced malignancy incidence recently reported with TOR inhibitors is compared with that of conventional immunosuppression. Important nondrug factors influencing the incidence of post-transplant malignancies from seven single and three registry reports are detailed. The substantial role that de novo malignancies play in post-transplant mortality is discussed. Finally, management recommendations for recipients who develop de novo post-transplant malignancies are briefly presented.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antilymphocyte Serum / adverse effects
  • Antilymphocyte Serum / history
  • Azathioprine / adverse effects
  • Azathioprine / history
  • Cyclosporine / adverse effects
  • Cyclosporine / history
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / history
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Kidney Transplantation / history
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Neoplasms / history
  • Ohio / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Sirolimus / adverse effects
  • Sirolimus / history
  • Tacrolimus / adverse effects
  • Tacrolimus / history
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Antilymphocyte Serum
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclosporine
  • Azathioprine
  • Sirolimus
  • Tacrolimus