Bronchogenic carcinoma after solid organ transplantation Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: This study assesses the risk of bronchogenic carcinoma after solid organ transplantation. Although the overall incidence of malignancy is increased after solid organ transplantation, the risk of bronchogenic carcinoma in the transplant population has not been systematically studied. METHODS: Among a cohort of 3,374 patients transplanted in our institution between 1985 and 2000 (1,735 kidney recipients, 930 liver, 313 heart, and 396 lung recipients), 9 patients (0.3%) had a bronchogenic carcinoma develop. Lung carcinoma occurred in 3 kidney recipients, 3 liver recipients, 2 heart recipients, and 1 lung recipient. RESULTS: Time to diagnosis after the transplant procedure ranged from 9 to 126 months (mean, 63 months). Aside from the lung transplant candidate, all recipients had a smoking history. Seven patients underwent thoracotomy and 6 had a complete resection. Tumors were classified as stage IA (n = 1), IB (n = 2), IIB (n = 2), IIIA (n = 2), IIIB (n = 1), and IV (n = 1). Genotyping demonstrated that the carcinoma arising in the lung transplant recipient originated from the donor and may have been transmitted at the time of transplantation. Two patients were alive without recurrence 21 and 42 months after the operation. CONCLUSIONS: The risk of bronchogenic carcinoma is low and occurs mainly in recipients with a smoking history. However, bronchogenic carcinoma can also be transmitted from donor lungs at the time of transplantation. Hence careful examination of chest roentgenograms, and computed tomographic chest scan if available, as well as meticulous assessment of the lung, and biopsy of any suspicious lesions, are important to limit the risk of lung cancer transmission, especially with the liberalization of donor criteria.


  • de Perrot, Marc
  • Wigle, Dennis A
  • Pierre, Andrew F
  • Tsao, Ming S
  • Waddell, Thomas K
  • Todd, Thomas RJ
  • Keshavjee, Shafique

publication date

  • February 2003