The authors have no funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.
Head and Neck
Head and neck cancer in transplant recipients†
Article first published online: 3 APR 2012
Copyright © 2012 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.
Volume 122, Issue 7, pages 1566–1569, July 2012
How to Cite
Deeb, R., Sharma, S., Mahan, M., al-Khudari, S., Hall, F., Yoshida, A. and Schweitzer, V. (2012), Head and neck cancer in transplant recipients. The Laryngoscope, 122: 1566–1569. doi: 10.1002/lary.23328
- Issue published online: 21 JUN 2012
- Article first published online: 3 APR 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 29 MAR 2012 06:18AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 MAR 2012
- Manuscript Revised: 9 FEB 2012
- Manuscript Received: 11 JAN 2012
- Head and neck cancer;
- organ transplants;
- dermatologic malignancies;
- Level of Evidence: 2b
The development of malignancy in organ transplant patients is a well-known complication of long-term immunosuppressive therapy. We sought to characterize our institution's 20-year experience with head and neck cancer after solid organ transplantation.
Patients who underwent a solid organ transplant with subsequent development of a head and neck malignancy, including cutaneous and noncutaneous (upper aerodigestive tract and salivary gland) cancers, from January 1990 through December 2011 were identified. Patients were stratified according to cancer type, location, stage, and survival and compared to a nontransplant cohort in our institution's tumor registry.
Of 95 patients identified, 17 had noncutaneous and 78 had cutaneous head and neck malignancies post-transplant. Among the noncutaneous group, no statistically significant differences occurred in age, gender, stage, or 5-year survival status when compared to the nontransplant tumor registry cohort. However, significantly fewer transplant patients were alive at 1 year. Among the cutaneous group, >50% had multiple malignancies. The total incidence of head and neck cancer following organ transplantation was 2.6%.
Although the development of head and neck cancer is a rare side effect of immunosuppression, it still warrants attention. These patients have been found to be less likely to survive >1 year when compared to their nontransplant counterparts. Patients who develop head and neck malignancies following organ transplantation require aggressive screening, treatment, and follow-up, as this diagnosis may portend a poor prognosis.