Skin cancer and (pre)malignancies of the female genital tract in renal transplant recipients

Transpl Int. 2010 Feb;23(2):191-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-2277.2009.00975.x. Epub 2009 Sep 29.


Immunosuppressive therapy in renal transplant recipients (RTRs) is associated with an increased risk for the development of (pre)malignancies involving the skin and the female lower genital tract. We assessed whether yearly cervical screening was performed and evaluated the development of skin cancer and gynaecological (pre)malignancies in RTRs. Female RTRs (n = 224), transplanted between 1991 and 1995, were analysed retrospectively. Sociodemographic patient characteristics, frequency and results of cervical smears and prevalence of cutaneous, cervical, vaginal or vulvar (pre)malignancies were investigated and compared with that in the general population. A mean of 0.2 cervical smears per patient per year was found to have been performed in RTRs, which is significantly less than the recommended screening ratio of 1.0 for female RTRs (P < 0.001). The risk for RTRs to develop malignancies of the female lower genital tract was increased: twofold to sixfold for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, threefold for cervical carcinoma and 50-fold for vulvar carcinoma. Cervical screening is not performed in accordance with the advised yearly intervals, and the risk for RTRs to develop vulvar and cervical (pre)malignancies is increased. More attention should be paid to the vulvar and cervical surveillance of RTRs by both medical specialists and general physicians.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / etiology
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / etiology
  • Young Adult


  • Immunosuppressive Agents