Background: Heart transplantation (HT) success rate is limited by a high incidence of cancer post-HT. Data on kidney cancer following solid organ transplantation, especially HT, are limited, and only a few cases have been reported.
Objectives: To report a unique case series of detected kidney cancer following HT.
Methods: Between 1997 and 2018, 265 patients who underwent HT were enrolled and prospectively followed in the HT registry of the Sheba Medical Center.
Results: The series included 5 patients, 4 men and a woman (age range 35–50 years at HT). The patients were diagnosed with kidney tumors 6–11 years after HT (age range at diagnosis 40–72 years). Two of the men were identical twin brothers. At HT four patients received induction therapy with anti-thymocyte globulin and all received an initial immunosuppressive regimen based on cyclosporine. All male HT recipients had a history of heavy smoking. Two male patients developed allograft vasculopathy, but all had preserved heart function. The 72-year-old woman developed a kidney tumor of the native kidney 5 years after re-HT and kidney transplantation. Two patients had features of multifocal papillary renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and eventually underwent bilateral nephrectomy, while another patient underwent left partial nephrectomy with preserved renal function.
Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case series study describing kidney tumors following HT. With the improving outcomes and life expectancy of HT patients, a better understanding of the factors that determine cancer risk is of the utmost importance and may have a major impact on the non-cardiac surveillance.