The purpose of this study was to assess the incidence and type of malignancies after heart transplantation at a medical institute in Taiwan.
From January 1987 to December 2008, a total of 66 patients who survived more than 30 days after transplantation were enrolled in this study.
Of the 66 heart transplant recipients, 8 (12.1%) post-transplant malignancies were diagnosed: 5 post- transplant lymphoproliferative diseases (PTLD), 1 prostate cancer, 1 lung cancer, and 1 squamous cell carcinoma of the cheek. The clinical presentations were diverse, and the diagnoses were confirmed by biopsy. Only 1 patient died of PTLD and subsequent multiple organ failure.
Cancer is a limiting factor for long-term survival after heart transplantation. The most common type in this study was PTLD. Early detection and aggressive treatment results in good response and preserves the allograft.