The Italian Multiorgan Donor Cancer Screening Protocol: 2002–2005 Experience

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Background.We describe the results of the application of the Italian donor cancer screening protocol to all the 7608 candidate multiorgan donors presented in Italy in 2002–2005.Methods.All suspect findings raised in the two presurgical and surgical phases of the protocol were investigated by extemporary pathologic evaluation. Donors were classified as standard risk (no transmissible risk); nonstandard risk (low-risk of transmission, eligibility restricted to certified clinical emergencies pending informed consent); and unacceptable risk (unconditional exclusion because of high-risk pathologies).Results.The protocol was successfully implemented for all 7608 candidates. In addition to 8 (0.1%) independent exclusions, clinical suspicion of cancer was raised for 337 (4.6%) donors. According to pathological examination 198 donors (2.6%) were judged at unacceptable risk of tumor transmission; 80 (1%) were included in the “standard risk”. Used standard risk and nonstandard risk donors provided a total of 241 organs in 231 recipients. Although no suspect was raised after implementation of the protocol, a malignant tumor was discovered after organ transplantation in 14 (0.2%) donors. All the recipients transplanted with organs from ascertained nonstandard risk donors or from neoplastic donors who donated by accident have been carefully followed. At the time of most recent follow-up no donor/recipient tumor transmission has been reported.Conclusions.Implementation of the multiorgan cancer screening protocol is feasible at a national level in Italy. In view of the increasing demand for organs our protocol provides a useful tool for rationalization of the use of organs from neoplastic marginal donors.

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