HealthDay News — A single multiorgan donor transmitted breast cancer to 4 transplant recipients, according to a case report published recently in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Yvette A.H. Matser, from the VU University Medical Center in the Amsterdam, and colleagues reported 4 cases of breast cancer transmission to transplant recipients from a single organ donor. The donor had no relevant medical history and donated her kidneys, lungs, liver, and heart. The heart recipient died 5 months later from sepsis. 

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The authors note that with 16 months to 6 years after transplantation, the other 4 recipients developed donor-derived breast cancer, which was proven by DNA microsatellite. As a result of the donor-derived breast cancer, the double-lung recipient, left-kidney recipient, and liver recipient died. After diagnosis of the breast cancer in the right-kidney recipient, the patient underwent transplant nephrectomy, his immunosuppression was stopped, chemotherapy was initiated, and despite having widely metastasized disease he achieved complete remission.

“This extraordinary case points out the often fatal consequences of donor-derived breast cancer and suggests that removal of the donor organ and restoration of immunity can induce complete remission,” the authors write.

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