Outcomes of skin cancers in pediatric solid organ transplant patients: A systematic review

Pediatr Transplant. 2022 Feb;26(1):e14146. doi: 10.1111/petr.14146. Epub 2021 Sep 25.


Background: The most frequently reported malignancies after solid organ transplant are cutaneous, but data on the risk in pediatric populations varies across studies.

Objectives: To perform a systematic review including reported features and outcomes of skin cancers in pediatric solid organ transplant recipients.

Methods: EMBASE and MEDLINE were systematically searched (Prospero CRD42020201659).

Results: The review summarizes data from 20 studies on 337 patients, with a median age ranging from 15.0 to 19.5 years as reported in 4 studies, who developed skin malignancies after pediatric solid organ transplantation. Median ages at transplant and skin cancer diagnosis ranged from 1.5 to 17.0 years and 15.3 to 33.5 years, respectively. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was most commonly reported (218 cases), followed by basal cell carcinoma (BCC) (91 cases), melanoma (18 cases), and unspecified keratinocyte carcinomas (2 cases). The median latency period between transplantation and cancer diagnosis ranged from 2.2 to 21.0 years. Overall, 4 studies reported 17 cases of metastasis in total, and recurrence was reported in one case. Six deaths were reported in one study related to SCC and melanoma metastases. The incidence rate of skin cancer after pediatric transplantation per 100 person-years of follow-up was 2.1 based on 5 studies.

Conclusion: The most frequent post-transplant malignancy in pediatric organ transplant recipients was SCC.

Keywords: keratinocyte carcinoma; melanoma; pediatric; skin cancer; transplant.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Carcinoma / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma / etiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Melanoma / epidemiology
  • Melanoma / etiology*
  • Organ Transplantation*
  • Postoperative Complications* / epidemiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology*