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Cancer Death Risk Up for Kidney Transplant, Dialysis Patients

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 -- Dialysis and kidney transplant patients have more than a 2.5-fold increased risk for cancer death, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Eric H. Au, M.B.B.S., from the University of Sydney, and colleagues compared cancer mortality among dialysis and transplant patients versus the general population using data from 1980 through 2014 from the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant Registry.

A total of 52,936 dialysis patients were followed for 170,055 patient-years, and 16,820 transplant patients were followed for 128,352 patient-years. The researchers identified 2,739 and 923 cancer-related deaths among dialysis patients and transplant patients, respectively. The overall cancer standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were 2.6 and 2.7 for dialysis and transplant patients, respectively. SMRs were highest for multiple myeloma, testicular cancer, and kidney cancer (30.5, 17.0, and 12.5, respectively) for dialysis patients; SMRs were highest for non-Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney cancers, and melanoma for transplant recipients (10.7, 7.8, and 5.8, respectively). Of those who experienced cancer-related deaths, 61.0 percent of dialysis patients and 9.6 percent of transplant patients had preexisting cancer. For de novo cancer, the SMR was 1.2 and 2.6 for dialysis and transplant patients, respectively.

"Further research may help us understand which patients are particularly at risk of cancer and the reasons why they have higher chances of dying from cancer," Au said in a statement.

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Posted: February 2019

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