Malignancies in hepatitis C virus-positive and -negative kidney transplant recipients: A case-controlled study

Transpl Infect Dis. 2017 Aug;19(4). doi: 10.1111/tid.12725. Epub 2017 Jun 26.


Background: Malignancies and lymphoma are common complications after kidney transplantation. However, no link has been made between the incidence of malignancies and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in this setting. This case-controlled study compared the incidence of malignancies, including lymphoma, between kidney transplant (KT) patients with or without HCV replication.

Patients and methods: A total of 99 HCV-positive RNA-positive KT patients were matched with 198 (1:2) anti-HCV-negative patients according to age, gender, and date of transplantation, and were followed for 145.8±78.4 months.

Results: During the follow-up period, 28 HCV-positive (28%) cases developed at least one cancer, and 64 (32%) patients developed cancer in the HCV-negative group (P=not significant [ns]). Survival without a cancer was similar between both groups. Thirteen HCV-positive patients (13%) developed at least one solid cancer vs 29 (15%) HCV-negative patients (P=ns). Survival without a solid cancer was similar between both groups. Three patients from the HCV-positive and 4 from the HCV-negative group developed a lymphoma. Only 2 patients from the HCV group died from hepatocellular carcinoma. Survival without a skin cancer was similar between both groups. Patient and death-censored graft survival rates were significantly lower in the HCV group.

Conclusion: The incidences and types of malignancies were similar in the HCV-positive and HCV-negative KT patients.

Keywords: cancer; hepatitis C virus; kidney transplantation; lymphoma; survival.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / complications*
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / virology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Graft Survival
  • Hepacivirus / isolation & purification*
  • Hepatitis C / complications
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis C / mortality
  • Hepatitis C / virology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Lymphoma / complications
  • Lymphoma / epidemiology*
  • Lymphoma / mortality
  • Lymphoma / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / virology
  • Transplant Recipients