The Historical Link Between Solid-Organ Transplantation, Immunosuppression, and Skin Cancer


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Henry W. Randle, MD, Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL 32224, or e-mail:


Background. Skin cancers are more common in organ transplant recipients than in the general population.

Objective. The objective of this study was establish the historical link between organ transplantation, immunosuppression, and the development of skin cancer.

Methods. The pertinent literature in cutaneous oncology and transplantation is reviewed.

Results. There is a historical link between organ transplants, immunosuppression, and the subsequent development of skin cancers.

Conclusions. Organ transplant recipients have more skin cancer than those in the general population and this is temporally related to their degree of immunosuppression.