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Keywords:

  • Cancer;
  • complications;
  • liver transplantation

The aim of our study was to examine whether an extensive surveillance protocol will promote early diagnosis and improved survival in patients with de novo cancer following liver transplantation (LT). Of 779 consecutive LT recipients, 96 (12.3%) developed 105 malignancies. The cumulative risk for the development of de novo cancer was 10%, 24%, 32% and 42% at 5, 10, 15 and 20 years after LT, respectively. The most frequent tumor types were skin (17%), lung (16%), oropharyngeal (11%) and prostate cancer (11%). The overall standard incidence ratio as compared to that of the general population was 1.9 (95% CI: 1.5–2.3). The median survival of patients with de novo non-skin cancers was 3.1 years after diagnosis. Only patients with skin cancers and solid tumors, diagnosed at early stages, showed an excellent outcome. After introducing an intensified surveillance protocol, the detection rate of de novo cancers increased from 4.9% to 13% and more de novo malignancies were diagnosed in earlier stages. For non-skin cancers, the median tumor-related survival significantly improved from 1.2 to 3.3 years as well as the median overall survival post-LT. This study indicates that an extensive tumor surveillance program is highly recommendable in LT recipients.