Nonmelanoma skin cancer of the head and neck region in solid organ transplant recipients

Amit Ritter*, Gideon Bachar, Raphael Feinmesser, Thomas Shpitzer, Aron Popovtzer, Naomi Rabinovics

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC) are the most common malignancies in solid organ recipients. We investigated the incidence, clinical features, and outcome of solid organ recipients with NMSC of the head and neck. Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted for solid organ recipients who were treated from 1992 to 2015 and who developed NMSC of the head and neck. Results: Of 3339 organ recipients, 259 patients developed 697 head and neck NMSC. Squamous cell carcinoma was the most common malignancy (55%). The overall 5-year and 10-year survival was 68% and 45%. Kidney recipients had better survival outcome than other organ recipients (10 vs 7 years). Advanced-stage cancers (10%), aggressive patterns of tumors (21%), and treatment with Prograf and Cellcept were associated with increased disease-specific mortality. Conclusion: Solid organ transplant increases the risk of NMSC of the head and neck. Aggressive tumors decrease patient survival and warrant more decisive and multidisciplinary approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-380
Number of pages7
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • head and neck cancer
  • skin cancer
  • solid organ
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • transplantation


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