Pancreatic cancer among solid organ transplant recipients in the United States

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology


Introduction: Pancreatic cancer (PC) in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients is not well studied. Some PC cases may be incidentally detected during hepatobiliary imaging. Methods: We evaluated PC among 374,106 SOT recipients during 1995–2017 in the United States using linked data from the national transplant registry and multiple state/regional cancer registries. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were used to compare PC risk in recipients to the general population. We used multivariate Poisson regression to identify independent risk factors for PC. We assessed survival after PC diagnosis using Kaplan–Meier curves and log-rank tests. Results: SOT recipients had elevated incidence for PC compared with the general population (SIR 1.40, 95% CI 1.29–1.52), and this increase was strongest in liver recipients (1.65, 1.41–1.92). Among all recipients, PC incidence was especially increased for cases arising in the head of the pancreas (SIR 1.50, 95% CI 1.34–1.68) and for cases diagnosed at localized stage (1.85, 1.37–2.44). Among SOT recipients, factors independently associated with increased incidence were consistent with those in general population including male sex, older age, non-O blood type, and history of diabetes. Additionally, compared to other organ recipients, liver transplant recipients had higher PC incidence (adjusted incidence rate ratio 1.28; 95% CI 1.06–1.54). Overall survival after PC diagnosis was poor (median 4 months) and similar between liver and other organ transplant recipients (p = 0.08). Conclusions: PC incidence is elevated among SOT recipients, and more commonly diagnosed in liver transplant recipients perhaps related to incidental detection. However, survival is poor even in liver recipients, arguing against routine PC screening.

First Page


Last Page


PubMed ID