Lung cancer in patients with lung transplants

Transplant Proc. 2012 Sep;44(7):2118-9. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.07.067.


Objective: The aim of our study was to describe the incidence of lung cancer in patients after lung transplantation (LT).

Materials and methods: We performed an observational, retrospective, descriptive study based on data from 340 patients undergoing lung transplantation between October 1993 and December 2010. We collected data about the donors, recipients, intra- and postoperative periods, and survivals.

Results: We identified 9 (2.6%) patients who developed lung cancer after LT. Their average age was 56 ± 9.3 years (range, 18-63). All cases were men with 8/9 (88.8%) having received a single lung transplant. All cancers developed in the native lung. The indications for transplantation were: emphysema type chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD; n = 5), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (n = 3), or cystic fibrosis (n = 1); 77% of them were former smokers. All of the COPD patient were affected. The interval from transplantation to diagnosis was 53.3 ± 12 months (range 24-86). Survival after cancer diagnosis was 49.3 ± 6.3 (range = 0-180) months.

Conclusions: LT was associated with a relatively high incidence of lung cancer, particularly in the native lung. In our series, lung cancer was related more to patients with emphysema-type COPD and a history of smoking. We believe that these patients should be closely followed to establish the diagnosis and apply early treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Lung Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Young Adult