Organ Transplant Recipients Require Vigilant Sun Protection Interview with:
“Sunscreen” by Tom Newby is licensed under CC BY 2.0Rebecca Ivy Hartman, M.D
Instructor in Dermatology
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Boston MA 02115 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Organ transplant recipients (OTR) are at 100-fold higher risk to develop certain skin cancers compared to the general population due to immunosuppression, and thus preventing skin cancer in this population is critical.

Our study found that in a high-risk Australian OTR population, only half of patients practiced multiple measures of sun protection regularly.

However, after participating in a research study that required dermatology visits, patients were over 4-times more likely to report using multiple measures of sun protection regularly. Patients were more likely to have a positive behavioral change if they did not already undergo annual skin cancer screening prior to study participation. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Clinics conducting skin cancer surveillance in organ transplant recipients may offer primary prevention benefits in addition to skin cancer diagnosis and treatment. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Longer term follow-up is needed to see if increased use of sun protective practices results in decreased skin cancer development among organ transplant recipients. In addition, our study was limited to a research clinic so additional studies are needed to evaluate whether the same findings are seen in purely clinical settings.

No disclosures


Hartman RI, Green AC, Gordon LG, for the Skin Tumours and Allograft Recipients (STAR) Study. Sun Protection Among Organ Transplant Recipients After Participation in a Skin Cancer Research Study. JAMA Dermatol.Published online June 06, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.1164

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