Is thyroid cancer prognosis affected by solid organ transplantation?

Christopher Webb, Patricia Cronin, Nikita Gupta, Jens Verhey, Esteban Calderon, Adyr Moss, Amit K. Mathur, Barbara Pockaj, Nabil Wasif, Chee Chee Stucky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Thyroid nodules discovered incidentally during transplant may prolong time to transplantation. Although data suggest that incidence of thyroid cancer increases after solid organ transplantation, the impact on prognosis in differentiated thyroid cancer is not well characterized. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients with history of thyroid cancer and solid organ transplantation at our institution. Results: A total of 13,037 patients underwent solid organ transplantation of which there were 94 patients with differentiated thyroid cancer (0.7%). Of these, 50 patients (53%) had cancer pre–solid organ transplantation, whereas 44 patients (47%) developed cancer post–solid organ transplantation. Papillary histology was most common (88%), followed by follicular (3%), Hurthle cell (3%), and medullary (2%) carcinomas. One patient in the post-transplant cohort died from metastatic thyroid cancer 11.8 years after transplantation. There were 5 patients in the pre-transplant group and 4 patients in the post-transplant group who had recurrent thyroid disease. There were no patients treated for differentiated thyroid cancer pre–solid organ transplantation that experienced disease recurrence after transplantation. Disease-free survival at 5 and 10 years was 95.8% and 92.1% (confidence interval 84.9–99.2%, 80.0–97.4%) in the pre–solid organ transplantation group vs 89.7% and 84.4% in the post (confidence interval: 80.0–96.3% and 79.0–93.1%, P = .363), respectively. Conclusion: Survival outcomes and recurrence rates in patients with thyroid cancer are not significantly affected by solid organ transplantation. A history of thyroid cancer or discovery of thyroid nodules during transplant screening should not be a contraindication for transplant listing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-62
Number of pages5
JournalSurgery (United States)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Is thyroid cancer prognosis affected by solid organ transplantation?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this