Background: Solid organ transplant recipients (SOTRs) are at increased risk for both skin and internal malignancies (IM). The risk of IM after the occurrence of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) has been studied in the general population but very little is known about this association in SOTRs.
Objectives: To evaluate the risk of IM following a prior diagnosis of post transplantation NMSC in SOTRs.
Methods: This single center retrospective cohort study included a study population of 329 SOTRs from Rabin Medical Center who had a post-transplant diagnosis of skin malignancy, internal malignancy, or both from 2012 to 2018.
Results: In total, 135 (41.03%) SOTRs were diagnosed with IM without a preceding diagnosis of NMSC while only 42 (12.76%) patients diagnosed with IM had a preceding diagnosis of NMSC. SOTRs with a diagnosis of NMSC showed a significantly decreased risk of developing subsequent IM (hazard ratio [HR] 0.64, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 0.44–0.94, P = 0.02) compared to those without a prior NMSC diagnosis. Liver and lung transplant patients showed a significantly decreased risk of developing subsequent IM after a diagnosis of NMSC (HR 0.09 and 0.43, respectively). When stratified by type of IM, only patients who were diagnosed with a hematological malignancy had a significantly lower risk of developing this malignancy if they had a prior NMSC (HR 0.26).
Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest a protective effect of NMSC on subsequent IM in the organ transplant population.