Background. Solid-organ transplant recipients have a high incidence of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and often develop multiple and aggressive tumors. There are few published studies or reviews, which provide guidance to the clinician in the treatment of these patients.
Objective. The objective was to develop useful clinical guidelines for the treatment of skin cancer in organ transplant recipients (OTRs).
Methods. The members of the Guidelines Committee of the International Transplant–Skin Cancer Collaborative (ITSCC) carried out a computerized search utilizing the databases of the National Library of Medicine for reports in the literature on SCC in OTRs. These reports were collectively examined by the group and combined with experiences from the members' clinical practices in the development of the guidelines.
Results. More than 300 articles relating to SCC in OTRs were reviewed. In general, reports concerning the prevention and treatment of SCC in OTRs are of individual cases or small case series. They are retrospective in nature, statistically nonrigorous, and lack the complete epidemiologic data necessary to derive definitive conclusions. Combining these studies and collective clinical experience, however, is at present the best available method for devising guidelines for the treatment of SCC in OTRs.
Conclusion. Guidelines developed for the treatment of skin cancer in OTRs, supported by the best available data and collective clinical experience, may assist in the management of OTRs with SCC. The development of clinical pathways and complete documentation with rigorous prospective study is necessary to improve and refine future guideline development.