May 3, 2010 12:16:11 pm
Kidney transplants give most patients many additional years of productive life,but their risk of developing cancer is high — due to the need to take immunosuppressive drugs to prevent organ rejection,doctors have often claimed.
Now,a new study has found the cancer risk is driven by total immune suppression rather than specific medications – in fact,no single medication appears to increase this risk.
Evaluating data from 1983 in a randomised trial,an international team was 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 per cent of patients developed non-skin cancer and 48 per cent of patients developed skin cancer — no one treatment had a greater effect on cancer risk.
“We found that no particular immuno suppressive drug regimen appears to increase the risk of cancer among kidney transplant patients,” said lead author Dr Martin Gallagher,The George Institute.
“What we did find is that the cancer risk is driven by many factors that are known at the time of transplantation such as age and smoking history,so that patients at specially high risk can be targeted at this time,” he added.
The findings revealed non-skin cancer was linked to increasing age and smoking history; skin cancer was associated with increasing age,non-brown eye color,fairer skin,and a functioning transplant.
Therefore,patients at especially high risk can be monitored more closely and use preventive measures to protect against cancer.
“Much debate has focused on the effects of various agents and dose regimens,but our analysis would suggest that cancer risk is driven by total immune suppression rather than specific medications.”
The study has been published in the ‘Journal of the American Society of Nephrology’.
📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.
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