Cancer transmission from solid organ donors to recipients is a known risk factor in transplantation. The Italian National Network for Transplantation (CNT) has adopted specific guidelines to evaluate the suitability of donors with history of malignancy. CNT also provides a Second Opinion service to assess oncological cases with a potential risk of neoplastic transmission to the recipient. CNT aims to minimize the risk of disease transmission from donors to recipients.
According to CNT guidelines, “standard” donors are defined as individuals with no signs of active malignancy and no history of cancer at the time of organ procurement. Unsuitable donors, defined as those with an “unacceptable risk”, are those patients with evidence of malignancy at the time of donation or in their medical history that carries an unacceptably high risk of disease transmission. Between these two categories, a broad spectrum of “non-standard” donors exists, where the risk of transmission is not entirely absent, but remains low enough to consider organ utilization. Malignancy should not be considered an absolute contraindication for organ donation.
CNT has also adopted a specific repository for adverse events (AE) after transplantation. Since 2012, with 10.493 donors and 34.193 performed transplants, 283 AE have been recorded, occurring in approximately 3% of donation processes and 1% of performed transplants. Oncological AE represented 13% of all reports. In the majority of cases, oncological AE resulted from missed diagnosis during organ procurement, benchwork, or transplantation surgery.
CNT guidelines, the oncological second opinion service, and the repository helped minimize the risk of cancer transmission with transplantation.
Keywords: cancer, organ donor, transplant