How safe is it to transplant organs from deceased donors with primary intracranial malignancy? An analysis of UK Registry data.


Journal Article

Patients dying from primary intracranial malignancy are a potential source of organs for transplantation. However, a perceived risk of tumor transfer to the organ recipient has limited their use. We evaluated the risk of tumor transmission by reviewing the incidence in patients transplanted in the UK. Information from the UK Transplant Registry was combined with that from the national cancer registries of England, Wales and Northern Ireland to identify all organ donors between 1985 and 2001 inclusive with a primary intracranial malignancy and to identify the occurrence of posttransplant malignancy in the recipients of the organs transplanted. Of 11,799 organ donors in the study period, 179 were identified as having had a primary intracranial malignancy, including 33 with high-grade malignancy (24 grade IV gliomas and 9 medulloblastomas). A total of 448 recipients of 495 organs from 177 of these donors were identified. No transmission of donor intracranial malignancy occurred. Organs from patients dying from primary intracranial malignancy, including those with high-grade tumors, should be considered for transplantation and the small risk of tumor transmission should be balanced against the likely mortality for potential recipients who remain on the transplant waiting list.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Watson, CJE; Roberts, R; Wright, KA; Greenberg, DC; Rous, BA; Brown, CH; Counter, C; Collett, D; Bradley, JA

Published Date

  • June 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1437 - 1444

PubMed ID

  • 20486904

Pubmed Central ID

  • 20486904

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1600-6143

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1600-6135

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2010.03130.x


  • eng