Increased incidence of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in lung transplant recipients taking long-term voriconazole.

University of California, San Diego Health System, San Diego, California.



Voriconazole has been used for prevention and treatment of fungal infections in patients after lung transplantation. We postulate that long-term use of voriconazole may increase the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the skin in these patients.


The study included 120 patients who received lung transplantation at UC San Diego Health System between July 2000 and June 2006. All patients received a similar initial immunosuppression regimen, and 43 (35.8%) received voriconazole for treatment or prophylaxis for fungal diseases. In this retrospective study, we compared the incidence of squamous cell carcinoma in lung transplant recipients with or without voriconazole use.


Squamous cell carcinomas developed in 39.5% of patients (17 of 43) who received voriconazole for prophylaxis or treatment of fungal disease, compared with 19.5% (15 of 77) who did not receive voriconazole (p = 0.03). Four patients died of metastatic squamous cell carcinoma, all in the voriconazole group. Multiple logistic regression analysis showed older age at the time of transplant (odds ratio [OR], OR (95% CI) 2.8 (1.5-5.5)), skin cancer pre-transplant (OR, 11.0 (1.76-68.4), and longer voriconazole therapy (OR, 1.8 (1.3-2.6)) were independent risk factors for development of skin cancer after transplant.


Our results suggest that long-term use of voriconazole may be associated with development of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in patients after lung transplant. Greater clinical aggressiveness of skin cancer was also noted in these patients.

Copyright © 2012 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.



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