HLA antigens play an important role in host defense against the development and spread of neoplasms, especially in virus-induced cancers. For example, in renal transplant recipients HLA-A1 1 may protect against skin tumors, whereas HLA-B27 and HLA-DR7 are associated with an increased risk of these malignancies.12


The author wishes to thank numerous colleagues, working in transplant centers throughout the world, who have generously contributed data concerning their patients to the Cincinnati Transplant Tumor Registry.

Editors' Note:

Dr. Penn died shortly before publication of the first edition of Organ Transplantation. This essay was reproduced without change from the first edition.


1. Penn I. Transmission in transplanted organs (editorial). Transplant Int 1993, 6:1.

2. Penn I. Transmission of cancer from organ donors. Ann Transplant 1997; 2:7-12.

3. Penn I. Depressed immunity and the development of cancer. Cancer Detect Prev 1994; 18:241.

4. Penn I. Malignancy after immunosuppressive therapy: How can the risk be reduced? Clin Immunotherapy 1995; 4:207.

5. Sheil AGR, Disney APS, Mathew TH, Amiss N. De novo malignancy emerges as a major cause of morbidity and late failure in renal transplantation. Transplant Proc 199; 25:1383.

6. Barrett WL, First R, Aron BS, Penn I. Clinical course of malignancies in renal transplant recipients. Cancer 1993; 72:2186.

7. Sheil AGR. Skin cancer in renal transplant recipients. Transplant Science 1994; 4:42.

8. Nalesnik MA, Starzl TE. Epstein-Barr virus, infectious mononucleosis, and posttransplant lymphoproliferative . Transplant Science 1994; 4:61.

9. Hanto DW. Classification of Epstein-Barr virus-associated posttransplant lymphoproliferative diseases: Implications for understanding their pathogenesis and developing rational treatment strategies. Annual Rev Med 1995; 46:381.

10. Montagnino G, Bencini PL, Tarantino A, Caputo R, Ponticelli C. Clinical features and course of Kaposi's sarcoma in kidney transplant patients: Report of 13 cases. Amer J Nephrol 1994; 14:121.

11. Al-Sulaiman MH, Al-Khader AA. Kaposi's sarcoma in renal transplant recipients. Transplant Science 1994; 4:46.

12. Bouwes Bavinck JN. Epidemiological aspects of immunosuppression: Role of exposure to sunlight and human papillomavirus on the development of skin cancer. Hum Exp Toxicol 1995; 14:98.

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