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Cutaneous squamous cell cancer (SCC) affects up to 30% of kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) within 10 years of transplantation. There are no reliable clinical tests that predict those who will develop multiple skin cancers. High numbers of regulatory T cells associate with poor prognosis for patients with cancer in the general population, suggesting their potential as a predictive marker of cutaneous SCC in KTRs. We matched KTRs with (n = 65) and without (n = 51) cutaneous SCC for gender, age, and duration of immunosuppression and assessed several risk factors for incident SCC during a median follow-up of 340 days. Greater than 35 peripheral FOXP3(+)CD4(+)CD127(low) regulatory T cells/microl, <100 natural killer cells/microl, and previous SCC each significantly associated with increased risk for new cutaneous SCC development (hazard ratio [HR] 2.48 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04 to 5.98], HR 5.6 [95% CI 1.31 to 24], and HR 1.33 [95% CI 1.15 to 1.53], respectively). In addition, the ratio of CD8/FOXP3 expression was significantly lower in cutaneous SCC excised from KTRs (n = 25) compared with matched SCC from non-KTRs (n = 25) and associated with development of new cutaneous SCCs. In summary, monitoring components of the immune system can predict development of cutaneous SCC among KTRs.

Original publication




Journal article


J Am Soc Nephrol

Publication Date





713 - 722


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Female, Humans, Kidney Transplantation, Male, Middle Aged, Phenotype, Postoperative Complications, Prognosis, Risk Factors, Skin Neoplasms