The risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) is found to be substantially increased after organ transplantation. The association with specific immunosuppressive regimens has been previously investigated, but results are not concordant. We aimed to clarify the relationship between separate immunosuppressive drugs, drug load, timing and risk of post-transplant CSCC.
A population-based nested case-control study was performed in the Swedish organ transplantation cohort (n = 5931). All patients who developed CSCC during the follow-up (1970-97) were eligible as cases (n = 207). Controls (n = 189) were randomly selected from the cohort and individually matched to the cases on follow-up time, age at and calendar period of transplantation. Exposure information was collected through extensive and standardized review of medical records.
The median time to CSCC was 6.7 years. Post-transplant azathioprine (Aza) treatment considerably increased the risk of CSCC during all time periods analysed, and the risk augmented with increasing dose and duration. Patients who after the entire follow-up period had received a high accumulated dose of Aza had an 8.8-fold increased risk of CSCC in multivariate analysis (P