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In Norway, Risk of SCC After Organ Transplant Has Fallen

Last Updated: October 20, 2017.

For organ recipients in Norway, the risk of skin cancer, particularly squamous cell carcinoma, has decreased since the mid-1980s, according to a study published online Oct. 18 in JAMA Dermatology.

FRIDAY, Oct. 20, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- For organ recipients in Norway, the risk of skin cancer, particularly squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), has decreased since the mid-1980s, according to a study published online Oct. 18 in JAMA Dermatology.

Syed Mohammad Husain Rizvi, M.D., from Oslo University Hospital in Norway, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study involving 8,026 patients receiving a kidney, heart, lung, or liver transplant in Norway from 1968 through 2012. Patient data were linked to a national cancer registry to examine temporal trends for the risk of skin cancer, particularly SCC.

The researchers found that the overall standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were 51.9, 2.4, and 54.9 for SCC, melanoma, and Kaposi sarcoma, respectively. The unadjusted SIR for SCC was 102.7 for those who underwent transplantation in the 1983-1987 period and decreased to 21.6 for those who underwent transplantation in 2003-2007. There was a decrease in the SIR for SCC after adjustment for follow-up times and background population risks as well as other confounders, with SIR peaking in patients who underwent transplantation in 1983-1987 and decreasing to less than half for those undergoing transplantation in 1998-2002, 2003-2007, and 2008-2012 (relative SIRs, 0.42, 0.31, and 0.44, respectively).

"Less aggressive and more individualized immunosuppressive treatment and close clinical follow-up may explain the decline," the authors write. "Still, the risk of SCC in organ transplant recipients remains much higher than in the general population and should be of continuous concern for dermatologists, transplant physicians, and patients."

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