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Liver transplant recipients have higher cancer risk
Date:11/3/2008

A new Canadian study comparing cancer rates of liver transplant patients to those of the general population has found that transplant recipients face increased risks of developing cancer, especially non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and colorectal cancer. Risks were more pronounced during the first year of follow-up and among younger transplant recipients. These findings are published in the November issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal by John Wiley & Sons. The article is also available online at Wiley Interscience (www.interscience.wiley.com).

Transplantation, and the immunosuppressants which keep the body from rejecting the new organ, have been shown to increase a patient's cancer risk. However, most studies that have considered the issue have been limited by data from a single center, or by small numbers of patients.

In a new population-based cohort study, researchers led by Ying Jiang of the Public Health Agency of Canada used the Canadian Organ Replacement Registry to gather information on all liver transplant recipients and cross-reference them with national mortality and cancer incidence databases.

The researchers included 2,034 patients who received a transplant between June 1983 and October 1998, and followed them for up to 15 years. They excluded patients who had liver cancer or who had been diagnosed with any other type of cancer (except for non-melanoma skin cancer) before transplantation, or in the 30 days immediately afterwards.

After 10,370.6 person-years of follow-up, the group of transplant recipients developed 113 cancers (not including liver cancer), compared to the 44.8 cases that were expected based on rates in the general population. The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for all cancers was 2.5 relative to the overall Canadian population. "This ratio appears to be a lower estimate when compared with the existing literature," the authors report, possibly
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Contact: Sean Wagner
swagner@wiley.com
781-388-8550
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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