Long-term care of transplant recipients: de novo neoplasms after liver transplantation

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Since the first liver transplantation in the early 1960s, there have been significant improvements in the recipients’ long-term outcome. Patients who have undergone transplantation are exposed to a high risk of developing neoplastic disease, not only because of their chronic immunosuppression, but also related to physiological aging, lifestyle, chronic viral infections, liver disease cause, and carcinogenic immunosuppressants. The present review covers the latest and most relevant data on de novo neoplasms after liver transplantation, and discusses their implications for clinical practice.

Recent findings

Given the impact of de novo neoplasms, in terms of morbidity and mortality, transplant teams must be prepared to diagnose and treat these conditions promptly. Dedicated cancer screening protocols are warranted. Although surveillance strategies are based on data concerning the general population, they should be customized in the light of each transplant recipient's risk factors. The resulting risk stratification is crucially important to the design of early intervention programs, and for addressing the modulation of individualized immunosuppressive regimens.

Summary

De novo malignancies are a significant issue for the liver transplant population, but targeted screening programs have shown that survival rates similar to those of nonimmunosuppressed patients can be achieved. New oncological surveillance strategies covering the prophylaxis, monitoring, and treatment of de novo neoplasms should take high priority in clinical research.

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