Initial skin cancer screening for solid organ transplant recipients in the United States: Delphi method development of expert consensus guidelines

Transpl Int. 2019 Dec;32(12):1268-1276. doi: 10.1111/tri.13520. Epub 2019 Oct 8.


Skin cancer is the most common malignancy affecting solid organ transplant recipients (SOTR), and SOTR experience increased skin cancer-associated morbidity and mortality. There are no formal multidisciplinary guidelines for skin cancer screening after transplant, and current practices are widely variable. We conducted three rounds of Delphi method surveys with a panel of 84 U.S. dermatologists and transplant physicians to establish skin cancer screening recommendations for SOTR. The transplant team should risk stratify SOTR for screening, and dermatologists should perform skin cancer screening by full-body skin examination. SOTR with a history of skin cancer should continue regular follow-up with dermatology for skin cancer surveillance. High-risk transplant patients include thoracic organ recipients, SOTR age 50 and above, and male SOTR. High-risk Caucasian patients should be screened within 2 years after transplant, all Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, and high-risk African American patients should be screened within 5 years after transplant. No consensus was reached regarding screening for low-risk African American SOTR. We propose a standardized approach to skin cancer screening in SOTR based on multidisciplinary expert consensus. These guidelines prioritize and emphasize the need for screening for SOTR at greatest risk for skin cancer.

Keywords: Delphi method; consensus; guidelines; post-transplant malignancy; skin cancer screening; solid organ transplant recipients.

MeSH terms

  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Transplant Recipients
  • United States