(HealthDay News) – The newly updated seventh edition American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system accurately predicts the risk of recurrence of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) in high-risk heart and lung transplant recipients, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

To evaluate the risk of cSCC recurrence in heart and lung transplant recipients, based on the seventh edition AJCC staging system, Christopher Metchnikoff, of the University of California at San Francisco, and associates conducted a 10-year retrospective cohort study of all primary cSCCs diagnosed in heart and lung recipients at a tertiary care academic dermatology center.

The researchers found that the cumulative incidence of local recurrence was 4%, 19%, and 54% for cSCC in situ, stage I cSCC at five years, and stage II cSCC at three years, respectively. Stage II tumors had a 10- and 43-fold greater risk of recurrence compared with stage I tumors and in situ tumors, respectively.

“Heart and lung transplant recipients are at high risk for local recurrence of cSCC. These data substantiate the prognostic accuracy of the newly updated 7th edition AJCC staging system for stage 0, I, and II cSCC in this population and demonstrate the aggressive behavior of this cancer in immunosuppressed patients,” the authors write.

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