Cancer mortality in solid-organ transplant recipients (SOTRs) was increased compared with the cancer death rate expected in the general population, according to a study published online ahead of print in JAMA Oncology.1

Although SOTRs are at greater risk for developing certain cancers than the general population, it is unclear whether they are also at an increased risk of death from cancer. Therefore, researchers sought to conduct a population-based cohort study to evaluate whether patients who have received a SOT are at an increased risk of cancer mortality compared with the general population.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 11 061 SOTRs who had underwent kidney, liver, heart, or lung transplantations in Ontario, Canada, between 1991 and 2010.

Continue Reading

Results showed that 20% of the 3068 deaths were related to cancer. Researchers found that cancer mortality in SOTRs was significantly higher than those in the general Ontario population.

When the investigators excluded pretransplant malignant neoplasms, the risk of cancer-related mortality remained elevated. The study also demonstrated that the increased risk occurred regardless of transplanted organ.

The risk of cancer-related death after solid-organ transplantation was particularly elevated in children and lower in patients older than 60 years, but the risk remained higher compared with the general population at all ages.

“Advances in prevention, clinical surveillance, and cancer treatment modalities for SOTRs are needed to reduce the burden of cancer mortality in this population,” the investigators conclude.


1. Acuna SA, Fernandes KA, Daly C, et al. Cancer mortality among recipients of solid-organ transplantation in Ontario, Canada [published online ahead of print January 7, 2016]. JAMA Oncology. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.5137.