Can Organ Transplants Transmit Cancer?

Very Rare but Yes - New Research


Organ Transplant Surgery



European Case

It's well known that organ transplants can pass on infectious diseases from the donor to the recipient in rare cases.  New scientific research shows that passing cancer from a donor to a transplant recipient is extraordinarily rare but can happen.  In fact, a donor's undetectable cancer cells caused 4 transplant recipients, including a man, to develop breast cancer.  3 of them died.  This case just emerged in Europe and was published in the scientific journal Transplant.

Donor History of No Detectable Cancer

The 53 yr old donor died of a stroke and had no detectable signs of cancer.  But doctors traced back the DNA in the cancer cells found in the 4 recipients.  The DNA matched that of the donor.  Scientists say the chance of something like this happening is 1 to 5 in 10,000 cases.  But, it's important research findings and something to be aware of.  The incidences are extraordinary rare but possible.