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Eye Cancer Risk Elevated in Kidney-Transplant Patients

Study suggests that ocular squamous cell carcinoma is associated with immune deficiency

THURSDAY, Aug. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Kidney-transplant patients have an increased risk of ocular squamous cell carcinoma, according to the results of a study published online Aug. 14 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Because HIV patients also have an increased risk, the finding suggests that this malignancy is an immune deficiency-associated cancer.

Claire Vajdic, Ph.D., of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues studied primary incident cancers that were diagnosed between 1982 and 2003 in 10,180 Australian kidney-transplant patients.

The researchers identified five patients who developed ocular squamous cell carcinoma, a rate that was 20 times higher than that found in the general population. They also found that patients who developed ocular squamous cell carcinoma were more likely than those who didn't to live in the subtropical state of Queensland (60 percent versus 17 percent), to have had end-stage kidney disease caused by glomerulonephritis (100 percent versus 46 percent) and to have a history of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (100 percent versus 29 percent).

"The carcinogenic mechanism is not known, but the available evidence suggests an effect of solar ultraviolet radiation and possibly human papillomavirus infection," the authors conclude.

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