Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence and characteristics of malignant tumors in kidney transplant recipients (KTR) in Lithuania and to access the changes in KTR survival after developing cancer. We also analyzed and compared results with data from other centers worldwide.
Material and methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of all 395 patients transplanted at Renal Transplantation Center of Vilnius University Hospital Santariškių Klinikos (RTC of VUHSK) between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2010.
Results: Mean age at transplantation was 40.33 ± 11.46 years; 54.9% of recipients were male, 45.1% female; 23 (5.8%) recipients developed 25 malignancies, of which 1.5% had urinary system cancer, 0.8% had non-melanoma skin cancer, hematolymphopoetic cancer, or cancer of gastrointestinal tract, and 0.5% developed cancers of female reproductive system, breast, central nervous system cancer, or had more than 1 malignancy. Average time to first malignancy was 46.7 months. Cumulative incidence of malignancy was 1.8%, after 1 year, 4% after 5 years, and 14.2% after 10 years. There were 32 patients (8.1%) with pre-malignant lesions. Recipients older than 45 years had higher frequency of malignancies (p = 0.005). KTR who developed gastrointestinal cancer had significantly shorter survival time than patients without malignancy (p = 0.01). Recipients who had been on dialysis for more than 35 months also had a significantly shorter survival (p=0.001).
Conclusions: Older patients had higher risk for developing malignancies, and recipients with gastrointestinal cancer had the worst survival. That suggests we need better screening programs for this type of cancer and for older patients at RTC of VUSHK.