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January 8, 1997

Tumors Arising After Organ Transplantation: Sorting Out Their Origins

Author Affiliations

From the Hamon Center for Therapeutic Oncology and Department of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.

JAMA. 1997;277(2):154-155. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540260068038

Most recipients of solid organ transplantation receive immunosuppressive therapy for prolonged periods and are at greatly increased risk for tumor development. These tumors have 4 origins: (1) recurrence of malignancies existing in the recipient prior to transplantation; (2) malignancies of recipient origin arising de novo after transplantation; (3) tumors of donor origin arising de novo in the transplanted organ; and (4) preexisting tumors of donor origin transmitted inadvertently to the recipient via the transplanted organ. While in the majority of cases the presumed origin of the tumors can be surmised correctly, the correct categorization of some may be difficult or controversial. In this issue of THE JOURNAL, Loh et al1 describe the use of molecular markers to identify the donor derivation of a metastatic prostatic carcinoma in a recipient following heart transplantation. A prostatic carcinoma was identified in the donor at autopsy after the transplant procedure had been initiated