04 May 2010

Heart And Liver Transplant Recipients At High Risk Of Lung Cancer

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Heart and liver transplant recipients are at particularly high risk of developing lung cancer after receiving the donated organ, researchers report at the 2nd European Lung Cancer Conference

They are advising doctors to screen for such cancers in these patients to maximize the chance of detecting the malignancy early.

Doctors have known for decades that the immunosuppressive drugs given to transplant patients increase their risk of developing new cancers. In transplant patients, the risk of developing a malignant tumor ranges from 4% to 18% and may be 100-fold higher than in the general population. The most common malignancies after transplantation are cancers of the lips and skin, lymphoproliferative disorders and Kaposi's sarcoma.

In a new study, French researchers studied the risk of developing lung cancer in patients who received different types of solid organs. Theirs is the largest study to date exploring the development of lung cancer in transplant recipients.

The researchers followed a group of 2,831 patients who received organ transplants at Toulouse Hospital between February 1984 and September 2006. Overall, 0.85% of them developed a lung cancer after transplant.

(Medical News Today)

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