Association Between Pretransplant Cancer and Survival in Kidney Transplant Recipients

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Abstract

Background

Kidney transplantation in recipients with a previous malignancy is often deferred 2 to 5 years after cancer treatment due to fear of cancer recurrence. In Norway, the required waiting period has been 1 year.

Methods

We compared patient and graft survival of recipients with pretransplant cancer to the outcomes of matched recipients without such cancer (comparators) using Cox regression.

Results

From 1963 to 2010, 377 (6.4%) of 5867 recipients had a pretransplant cancer. During a median follow-up of 6.8 years, 256 recipients died, 35 (13.7%) from recurrent cancer and 27 (10.5%) from de novo cancer. Uncensored and death-censored graft loss occurred in 263 and 46 recipients, respectively. All-cause mortality was similar as in comparators (hazard ratio [HR], 1.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.93-1.20]; P = 0.40), death-censored graft loss was lower (HR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.47-0.84; P = 0.002), and uncensored graft loss was similar (HR, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.87-1.12; P = 0.87). Cancer mortality was higher than in comparators (HR, 1.97; 95% CI, 1.51-2.56; P < 0.001), particularly during the first 5 years of follow-up (HR, 3.44; 95% CI, 2.36-5.03; P < 0.01). Waiting period was not associated with recurrent cancer mortality or all-cause mortality (both P > 0.45). Results were similar within cancer subgroups, with most data in patients with a history of kidney cancer, prostate cancer, urothelial cancer, and skin squamous cell carcinoma.

Conclusions

Kidney transplant recipients with a pretransplant cancer had a similar overall patient and graft survival as recipients without such cancer. Cancer mortality was increased, particularly during the first 5 years after transplantation. A short waiting period was not associated with mortality.

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