Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Organ transplant recipients 'twice as likely to develop cancer'

  • Comment

Cancer is twice as likely to develop in people who have received an organ transplant than in people who have not, according to new research.

The study led by Dr Eric Engels from the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Maryland, is based on data about 175,732 transplants. It found that more than 10,000 patients developed cancer in the years after surgery.

The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggest that the increased risk applies regardless of which organ the patients had received. It also applies to several forms of cancer, as tumours often develop in the new organ.

The risk of developing liver cancer was 500 times higher for liver patients in the six months after surgery than for other members of the population, the study found. In the following 10 to 15 years, it was still twice as high.

The researchers said the increased risk could be due to a reduced immune resistance to viruses that trigger the deadly disease. Underlying medical conditions, inflammation or drug toxicity were also cited as contributing factors.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.