The increased risk of cancer among renal transplant patients is similar across various immunosuppressant therapies, according to an Australian study published online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Martin P. Gallagher, MBBS, FRACP, of The George Institute for International Health in Camperdown, New South Wales, and collaborators followed 481 renal transplant recipients for a median of 20.6 years after they were randomized to receive azathioprine and prednisolone (group 1), cyclosporine monotherapy (group 2), or cyclosporine monotherapy, with a switch to azathioprine and prednisolone after three months (group 3).

At least one cancer developed in 226 participants. The mean times to the diagnosis of the first cancer were similar among the three groups (16, 15.3, and 15.7 years to the first non-skin cancer for groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively, and 13.6, 14.3, and 15.2 years to the first skin cancer).

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