Contribution of solid organ transplant recipients to the pediatric non-hodgkin lymphoma burden in the United States

Elizabeth L. Yanik, Meredith S. Shiels, Jodi M. Smith, Christina A. Clarke, Charles F. Lynch, Amy R. Kahn, Lori Koch, Karen S. Pawlish, Eric A. Engels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Pediatric solid organ transplant recipients have a 100 to 200 times higher risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) than the general pediatric population. Consequently, transplant-related NHL may contribute considerably to the pediatric NHL burden in the United States. METHODS: A cohort study using a linkage between the US transplant registry and 16 cancer registries was conducted. Cancer incidence rates were calculated for people less than 20 years old in the transplant and general populations. Rates were applied to transplant registry and US census data to estimate pediatric NHL counts for transplant recipients and the general population. RESULTS: During 1990-2012, an estimated 22,270 NHLs were diagnosed in US children and adolescents; they included 628 cases diagnosed in transplant recipients. Thus, 2.82% of pediatric NHL diagnoses in the general population (95% confidence interval [CI], 2.45%-3.19%) occurred in transplant recipients. Among transplant recipients, the most common subtypes were diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL; 64.5% of cases) and Burkitt lymphoma (BL; 8.6%). For DLBCL and BL, transplant recipients contributed 7.62% (95% CI, 6.35%-8.88%) and 0.87% (95% CI, 0.51%-1.23%) of diagnoses, respectively. The proportion of NHLs that occurred in transplant recipients was highest among children less than 5 years old (4.46%; 95% CI, 3.24%-5.69%) and in more recent calendar years (3.73% in 2010-2012; 95% CI, 2.07%-5.39%). DLBCL patterns were similar, with transplant recipients contributing 19.78% of cases among children less than 5 years old (95% CI, 12.89%-26.66%) and 11.4% of cases in 2010-2012 (95% CI, 5.54%-17.28%). CONCLUSIONS: Among children and adolescents, solid organ transplant recipients contribute a substantial fraction of NHL diagnoses, particularly DLBCL diagnoses. This fraction has increased over time. Prevention efforts targeted toward this group could reduce the overall pediatric NHL burden. Cancer 2017;123:4663-4671.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4663-4671
Number of pages9
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
  • epidemiology
  • non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • organ transplantation
  • pediatrics


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