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Cancer Risk For Kidney Transplant Recipients Not Affected By Drug Choice

Posted May 31 2010 8:11pm

Kidney transplant recipients are known to have a higher risk of cancer, compared to the general population, due to the need to take immunosuppressive drugs to prevent organ rejection. Results published today from a significant, long-term study suggest that no single medication appears to increase this cancer risk.

Evaluating data from 1983 in a randomised trial, researchers were able review trends among 481 patients over 20 years – providing the strongest evidence to date on the issue. A total of 226 patients in the trial developed at least one cancer. By 20 years post transplant, 27% of patients developed non-skin cancer and 48% of patients developed skin cancer – no one treatment had a greater effect on cancer risk.

“We found that no particular immunosuppressive drug regimen appears to increase the risk of cancer among kidney transplant patients,” said lead author Dr Martin Gallagher, The George Institute.

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