Long-term maintenance of calcineurin inhibitor monotherapy reduces the risk for squamous cell carcinomas after kidney transplantation compared with bi- or tritherapy

R Abou Ayache, A Thierry, F Bridoux, M Bauwens, M Belmouaz, E Desport, G Touchard
Transplantation Proceedings 2007, 39 (8): 2592-4
The incidence of skin cancer after organ transplantation is mainly related to type, level, and duration of immunosuppression. The immunosuppressive minimization strategy reduces skin malignancies, but no data are available concerning long-term calcineurin inhibitor (CNI) monotherapy compared with bi- or tritherapy. We studied the benefits of long-term CNI monotherapy (>6 years of exposure) with regard to the incidence of squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and basal cell carcinomas (BCC) compared with bi- or tritherapy, among first renal allograft adult recipients who were more than 6 years posttransplantation. Among 294 renal transplantations performed between 1986 and 1999, 80 patients received CNI monotherapy (MT) and 86 patients bi- or tritherapy (BTT) with a follow-up of more than 6 years. MT patients were older, had longer follow-up, and fewer biopsy-proven acute rejection episodes. The incidence of SCC was 15.9 SCC/1000 patients/year for MT vs 26.2 for BTT (P = .07). The incidence was significantly lower for patients older than 40 years (22.4 vs 56, respectively; P < .01). The incidence of BCC was 28.3 BCC/1000 patients/year for MT and 10.1 for BTT (P = .05), which failed to show a significant difference in patients older than 40 years (39.7 vs 25, respectively; P = .09). The ratio of SCC/BCC in MT was maintained around 1/2 over time, while it exceeded 2/1 in BTT after 12 years posttransplantation. Patient survival was comparable between the 2 groups. A higher graft survival rate was observed in the MT group. CNI monotherapy should be considered to be a beneficial, safe immunosuppressive minimization strategy for SCC in selected recipients.

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