Standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) for cancer after renal transplant in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and non-SLE recipients

Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman*, Amarpali Brar, Carrie Richardson, Moro O. Salifu, Ann Clarke, Sasha Bernatsky, Dimitre G. Stefanov, Rahul M. Jindal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: We investigated malignancy risk after renal transplantation in patients with and without systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods: Using the United States Renal Data System from 2001 to 2009, 143 652 renal transplant recipients with and without SLE contributed 585 420 patientyears of follow-up to determine incident cancers using Medicare claims codes. We calculated standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) of cancer by group using age, sex, race/ethnicity-specific and calendar year-specific cancer rates compared with the US population. Results: 10 160 cancers occurred at least 3 months after renal transplant. Overall cancer risk was increased in both SLE and non-SLE groups compared with the US general population, SIR 3.5 (95% CI 2.1 to 5.7) and SIR 3.7 (95% CI 2.4 to 5.7), respectively. Lip/oropharyngeal, Kaposi, neuroendocrine, thyroid, renal, cervical, lymphoma, liver, colorectal and breast cancers were increased in both groups, whereas only melanoma was increased in SLE and lung cancer was increased in non-SLE. In Cox regression analysis, SLE status (HR 1.1, 95% CI 0.9 to 1.3) was not associated with increased risk of developing cancer, adjusted for other independent risk factors for developing cancer in renal transplant recipients. We found that smoking (HR 2.2, 95% CI 1.2 to 4.0), cytomegalovirus positivity at time of transplant (HR 1.3, 95% CI 1.2 to 1.4), white race (HR 1.2, 95% CI 1.2 to 1.3) and older recipient age at time of transplantation (HR 1.0 95% CI 1.0 to 1.2) were associated with an increased risk for development of cancer, whereas shorter time on dialysis, Epstein-Barr virus or HIV were associated with a lower risk for development of cancer. Conclusions: Cancer risk in renal transplant recipients appeared similar in SLE and non-SLE subjects, aside from melanoma. Renal transplant recipients may need targeted counselling regarding surveillance and modifiable risk factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere000156
JournalLupus Science and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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