Incidence of cancer in kidney-transplant recipients: a long-term cohort study in a single center

Cancer Epidemiol. 2011 Apr;35(2):105-11. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2010.07.002. Epub 2010 Jul 31.


In a long-term cohort study, we calculated cancer incidences and survival rates after the development of these cancers in kidney-transplant recipients. The cancer incidences were compared with those in the general population. The occurrence of cancer was recorded in all patients who received kidney transplantation between 1966 and 2006. The median follow-up time was more than 9 years with a maximum of almost 40 years. Altogether 327 (17%) of 1906 patients developed cancer after transplantation: 142 (7%) had non-cutaneous malignancies; 178 (9%) cutaneous squamous-cell carcinomas and 138 (7%) basal-cell carcinomas. The cumulative incidence of any cancer was 13%, 33% and 47% after 10, 20 and 30 years, respectively. The incidences of cancers of the oral cavity, stomach, female genital organs, kidney, thyroid gland, leukemias and lymphomas, and cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma were significantly increased with a highest standardized morbidity ratio of 40 for cutaneous squamous-cell carcinomas. Survival rates after non-cutaneous malignancies were 57%, 43% and 36% and after non-melanocytic skin cancer 99%, 90% and 77% after 1, 3 and 5 years, respectively. The increased incidence of non-cutaneous malignancies after kidney transplantation is associated with a high mortality. Prevention of cancer after kidney transplantation should be a major focus of future research.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Survival Analysis
  • Young Adult