Managing breast cancer in the renal transplant patient: A unique dilemma

Michael Self, Ernest Dunn, John Cox, Karl Brinker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Improvements in immunosuppression have increased patient and graft survival in transplant recipients. As a result, there is greater risk of neoplastic processes such as breast cancer. Treatment in this population is complicated by the necessary immunosuppression, vascular accesses, and transplant grafts. General surgeons may expect to encounter more of these complex patients in the community setting. We sought to evaluate the surgical treatment of breast cancer in patients with renal transplants. Hospital and private physician records were queried to identify patients who developed breast cancer after a renal or pancreatic/renal transplantation. These charts were reviewed for demographics, type of breast cancer and treatment, location of dialysis access, and complications. From June 1, 1994, to May 31, 2004, 14 patients were identified. Eight patients had functioning transplants. All patients underwent operative interventions. Ten patients underwent adjuvant treatment. Three had functioning transplants and chose not to risk the graft with cessation of immunotherapy. However, no patient with functioning transplants who underwent chemotherapy developed organ failure. Breast cancer after transplantation poses a unique dilemma. The threat of transplanted organ failure is a major concern to these patients and often supersedes adjuvant therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-153
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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