Elevated incidence of head and neck cancer in solid organ transplant recipients

Alia J. Mowery, Michael J. Conlin, Daniel R. Clayburgh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Solid organ transplant recipients are known to be at an increased risk of cancer development, but research on head and neck cancer in transplant recipients has been limited and prior risk assessments may not be accurate. Methods: A retrospective review using a national Veterans Administration database to query outpatient problem lists for ICD codes indicating solid organ transplant and subsequent diagnosis of head and neck cancer. Results: In a study of 30 939 656 patients (37 969 solid organ transplants and 113 995 head and neck cancers), history of transplant significantly predicted head and neck cancer, with relative risks ranging from 1.85 (thyroid) to 2.91 (salivary gland). Worse overall survival (OS) was seen for head and neck cancer patients with prior transplants. Conclusions: In a large case-control study, prior transplant was a risk factor for head and neck cancer development and worse OS for head and neck cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4009-4017
Number of pages9
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • head and neck neoplasms
  • neoplasms
  • risk factors
  • survival analysis
  • transplants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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