Back to Journals » International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease » Volume 12

Risk of cancer after lung transplantation for COPD

Authors Ekström M, Riise GC, Tanash HA

Received 23 July 2017

Accepted for publication 29 August 2017

Published 3 October 2017 Volume 2017:12 Pages 2841—2847


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Magnus Ekström,1 Gerdt C Riise,2 Hanan A Tanash3

1Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Respiratory Medicine & Allergology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; 2Department of Respiratory Medicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden; 3Department of Respiratory Medicine, Skåne University Hospital, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden

Background: The risk of cancer is increased and affects survival after lung transplantation (LTx), but has not been well characterized in COPD. We aimed to evaluate the incidence and prognosis of cancer following LTx for COPD.
Methods: A prospective, population-based study of patients undergoing LTx for end-stage COPD at the two transplantation centers in Sweden between 1990-2013, with follow-up for incident cancer and death, using national registers. The excess risk of cancer was calculated as standardized incidence ratios compared with the general population matched for age, sex, and calendar year. Risk factors for cancer were analyzed using Fine-Gray regression, and survival after cancer diagnosis with Kaplan–Meier.
Results: In total, 331 patients (mean age 55.4 years; 64% women; 97% former smokers) were included. At a median follow-up of 2.8 years, 35% of patients had developed cancer and the risk was increased more than 10-fold ([95% CI] 8.1-11.8). The highest excess risks were for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (20.8-66.7), skin cancer (20.3-35.2), lung (11.7-31.2), liver (3.6-51.6), and colorectal cancer (6.1-19.5). Median survival was longer for skin cancer (8 years; 95% CI, 3-15) compared with non-skin cancer (4 years; 95% CI, 2.8-4.8; p<0.001).
Conclusion: The cancer risk is markedly increased after LTx for COPD. It could not be predicted by the factors evaluated, but contributed significantly to a negative prognosis.

Keywords: cancer, COPD, lung transplantation, severe alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, survival

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]