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What Is the Risk for Subsequent Skin Cancer After Post-Organ Transplant Skin Cancer?

About half of organ transplant recipients who develop one posttransplant skin cancer develop a subsequent skin cancer within two years

By Dermsquared Editorial Team | October 20, 2021

Among organ transplant recipients (OTRs) who develop one posttransplant skin cancer, about half develop a subsequent skin cancer within two years, according to a study published online Oct. 20 in JAMA Dermatology.

Mackenzie R. Wehner, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving OTRs from 2007 to 2017 to examine the risks and risk factors for developing any skin cancer posttransplant, a subsequent skin cancer after the first posttransplant skin cancer, and 10 or more skin cancers. Data were included for 7,390 OTRs in the Optum electronic health record dataset and for 133,651 in the MarketScan insurance claims dataset.

The researchers found that 4.5 and 13.3 percent of OTRs from the Optum and MarketScan datasets, respectively, had at least one skin cancer treatment. OTRs had a 44.0 to 57.0 percent risk for a subsequent skin cancer treatment at two years after the initial posttransplant skin cancer and a 3.7 to 6.6 percent risk for having 10 or more skin cancer treatments. In both datasets, significant risk factors for skin cancer included age, history of skin cancer, and history of actinic keratosis, while in MarketScan, male sex and thoracic transplant were also significant risk factors.

"More research is needed on how to earlier identify those OTRs who will go on to get many skin cancers to target strategies for prevention and early detection," the authors write.

One author reported receiving grants from Regeneron.

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