Clinical Research Papers:

Nationwide population-based study reveals increased malignancy risk in taiwanese liver transplant recipients

Yung Fong Tsai, Hsiu Pin Chen, Fu Chao Liu, Shih Hao Liu, Chun Yu Chen, Chih Wen Cheng and Jr Rung Lin _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:83784-83794. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11965

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Yung Fong Tsai1,2, Hsiu Pin Chen1,2, Fu Chao Liu1,2, Shih Hao Liu3, Chun Yu Chen1,2, Chih Wen Cheng1 and Jr Rung Lin1,2,3

1 Department of Anesthesiology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan

2 College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

3 Clinical Informatics and Medical Statistics Research Center and Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Correspondence to:

Jr Rung Lin, email:

Keywords: de novo malignancy; immunosuppression; mortality; post-transplant malignancy; recurrent malignancy

Received: April 08, 2016 Accepted: September 02, 2016 Published: September 10, 2016


Post-transplant malignancy is a major cause of late mortality for liver transplant recipients (LTRs). This nationwide population-based cohort study investigated the cancer type, incidence, and risk factors associated with post-transplant malignancies in 2938 Taiwanese LTRs who underwent transplantation between 1998 and 2012. Data from the National Health Insurance Research Database were extracted on the basis of the International Classification of Disease, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes. Among these patients, 284 post-transplant malignancies were diagnosed. These included 99 de novo malignancies among 98 patients, yielding a standardized incidence ratio of 2.17 (95% CI, 1.76 to 2.64) compared to the general population. The most common malignancies were infection related liver cancer (19.39%), oropharyngeal cancer (19.39%), non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (9.18%), and esophageal cancer (5.10%), as well as non-infection-related prostate cancer (6.12%). Patients with recurrent malignancies had the highest mortality. Furthermore, 186 recurrent malignancies relapsed, and the commonly affected organs were the liver (83.33%), lung (4.84%), bone and bone marrow (4.30%), and intrahepatic bile ducts (2.69%). Old age, the male sex, liver cirrhosis, hepatitis B, peptic ulcer, diabetes mellitus, and pre-existing cancer were all risk factors associated with post-transplant malignancies. Recipients with biliary atresia or urea cycle metabolism disorders were protected from post-transplant malignancies. Our data revealed a significantly increased risk of malignancies in Taiwanese LTRs and suggest implementation of a careful malignancy-surveillance program and immunosuppression-minimizing strategy for high-risk patients.

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