A new study states that organ recipients have an increased risk of cancer.
The study, which was conducted by the researchers from Canada, has found that incidence of cancer deaths in SOTRs (Solid Organ Transplant Recipients) is 2.84 times higher than that of the general population.
Nancy N. Baxter, MD, PhD, from the division of general surgery at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, and one of the authors of the study, said, “Our study represents, to our knowledge, the largest population-based study evaluating cancer mortality from post-transplant de novo and recurrent malignant neoplasms in all SOTRs. With advances in immunosuppression, SOTRs are doing well with their transplants and living longer. However, other issues are emerging. Our study shows that cancer mortality is the second most common cause of death in SOTRs.”
In the study, the researchers examined records from Canada’s organ registry, which followed 11,000 patients who underwent SOTs in Ontario over a 20-year period. They discovered that about 3,068 patients have already passed away, and 603 or 20 percent of these deaths were cancer-related. They further excluded patients who had malignancies before the operation and found that the risks of dying from cancer were still twice than that of the general population. They also found that children who received a transplant had higher risks for cancer-related deaths compared to organ recipients who were 60 years old and above.
The researchers concluded that those patients that benefitted from a solid organ transfer were at significant risk not only of developing cancer, but also at an increased risk of dying from it.
The researchers have now advised organ recipients to undergo regular checkups, and try out widely accepted cancer prevention strategies. These include limiting the consumption of alcohol, avoiding smoking or quitting the habit, getting regular exercise, losing weight and eating a healthy diet.
The findings of the study were published in the JAMA oncology journal.