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Kidney Transplant Patients at Greater Renal Cancer Risk

Renal cell carcinoma can be cured if caught early enough

WEDNESDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- Renal transplant patients are at greater risk of renal cell carcinoma in their native kidneys and should be checked annually by ultrasound, researchers report in the March issue of Urology. Localized tumors 6 cm or less in size can be successfully treated.

Marcos Lucon, M.D., of Sao Paulo University Medical School in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and colleagues analyzed data from 1,375 patients whose transplants were successful. Ten patients (1.37 percent) had 11 renal tumors, 10 of which were incidentally found in the native kidney, and one in the transplanted kidney.

Seven of the native kidney tumors were detected by ultrasound while three were found in organs removed due to arterial hypertension. The transplanted kidney tumor was detected after nephrectomy due to hematuria. There were six clear cell tumors, four were papillary tumors and one was a chromophobe tumor. Nine of the patients were treated with radical nephrectomy, and while two subsequently died of other causes, seven were alive and apparently disease-free.

"In patients with transplanted kidneys, the tumors of the urinary tract are the second most frequent, immediately after those of the skin," the authors write. "Renal transplant patients should be examined by ultrasonography of the native kidneys annually because they are at greater risk of renal cell carcinoma," they conclude.

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