Reduction of immunosuppression for transplant-associated skin cancer: Thresholds and risks

C. C. Otley, M. D. Griffin, M. R. Charlton, B. S. Edwards, M. Neuburg, T. Stasko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Although evidence supports the efficacy of reducing immunosuppression for transplant-associated skin cancer, clinical thresholds for and risks associated with reduction are not well defined. Objectives: In this study, experienced transplant physicians were surveyed regarding appropriate thresholds for consideration of reduction of immunosuppression and the likelihood of rejection and allograft compromise associated with various levels of reduction. Patients and methods: Fifty-two transplant physicians reviewed 13 hypothetical patient scenarios with graduated morbidity and mortality risk and provided opinions on the degree of reduction of immunosuppression that was warranted and the risks associated with various degrees of reduction. Results: Renal, liver and cardiac transplant physicians generally concurred on the level of reduction of immunosuppression warranted by various degrees of skin cancer. As morbidity and mortality from skin cancer increased, physicians were more likely to accept risk to allograft function from more aggressive reduction. Conclusions: Reduction of immunosuppression is considered a reasonable adjuvant strategy in recipients of solid organ transplants who have substantial morbidity and mortality risk from skin cancer. Physicians are willing to accept an increased risk of allograft compromise when confronted by severe or extensive skin cancer. Further research is needed to define the precise correlation among levels of reduction of immunosuppression, therapeutic efficacy, and concomitant risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1183-1188
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007


  • Allograft compromise
  • Immunosuppression
  • Skin cancer
  • Transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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