Cardiac transplantation in patients with preexisting malignancies.


Journal Article

A history of preexisting malignancy has been considered a contraindication to cardiac transplantation. The reasons for this prejudice include concerns about potentially deficient intrinsic immunomodulation and fear of cancer recurrence (or development of second cancers) because of therapeutic immunosuppression. In the past four years at the Northern Indiana Heart Institute seven patients with preexisting malignancies underwent cardiac transplantation. Their two-year survival rate was 100%, which is comparable to a rate of 81% in non-malignancy patients. After an average 31 months of follow-up (range = 6-56 months), only one patient has had a recurrent tumor (basal cell carcinoma). Statistical comparison of immunosuppression dosages, incidences of rejection, and incidences of infections between patients with preexisting malignancy and those without preexisting malignancy was performed. We found that the only significant difference was an increased number of infections in preexisting malignancy patients. Additionally, we found no difference in the incidence of posttransplant coronary artery disease in the preexisting malignancy group when compared with those patients without preexisting malignancies. This study demonstrates that patients who have been successfully treated for malignancies have no greater incidence of rejection than those patients without preexisting malignancy. Furthermore, preexisting malignancy patients require no significant modulation of immunosuppression. Although preexisting malignancy patients have a higher incidence of infections than patients without preexisting malignancy, their two-year survival is not worse than the patients without preexisting malignancy.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Dillon, TA; Sullivan, M; Schätzlein, MH; Peterson, AC; Scheeringa, RH; Clark, WR; Ladowski, JS

Published Date

  • July 1991

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 52 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 82 - 85

PubMed ID

  • 1858158

Pubmed Central ID

  • 1858158

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1534-6080

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0041-1337

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00007890-199107000-00017


  • eng