Objective: To determine the incidence of colon cancer in lung transplant recipients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and review screening colonoscopic findings in other recipients with CF.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed for all patients with CF transplanted at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (January 1994 through December 2010).
Results: Four of 70 transplant recipients with CF developed fatal colon carcinoma following transplantation, and the cancer was advanced in all 4 recipients (age 31, 44, 44, 64) at the time of diagnosis. In contrast, only one of 287 recipients transplanted for non-CF indications developed colon cancer. Of all recipients with CF who did not develop colon cancer, 20 recipients underwent screening colonoscopy at 1 to 12 years following transplantation. Seven (35%) of the screened transplant recipients (ages 36, 38, 40, 41, 43, 49, 51) had colonic polyps in locations ranging from cecum to sigmoid colon and up to 3 cm in diameter.
Conclusions: In contrast to non-CF recipients, patients with CF displayed a significant incidence of colon cancer (4 of 70 recipients; 5.7%) with onset ranging from 246 days to 9.3 years post-transplant, which may be due to a combination of their underlying genetic disorder plus intense, sustained immunosuppression following lung transplantation. Colonoscopic screening may identify patients with pre-malignant colonic lesions and prevent progression to colonic malignancy.
Copyright © 2011 European Cystic Fibrosis Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.