A 17-year-old girl seen in a Portuguese dermatology clinic was found to have a nodular basal cell carcinoma on the parietal region of her scalp. The nodule appeared 6 years after she had received a kidney transplant, according to João Borges-Costa, MD, PhD, who submitted the case report.
Since the transplant, the girl had been maintained on immunosuppressive medication of tacrolimus 1 mg twice daily, mycophenolate sodium 360 mg twice daily, and prednisolone 10 mg every other day. The 1-cm nodule was pigmented; dermatoscopy did not yield clarity about whether the lesion was melanocytic. An excisional biopsy with 0.5-cm margins was performed, and histology confirmed that the lesion was a nodular pigmented basal cell carcinoma that had been excised completely.
The case, said Dr. Borges-Costa, shows that skin cancers can develop earlier than the typical 12-18 years after pediatric transplantation. Most reported cases have been squamous cell cancers and melanomas, and often are associated with lack of appropriate sun protection behavior.
The patient, a Caucasian, was a sailor who used sunscreen but did not typically wear a hat while sailing, reported Dr. Borges-Costa, a dermatologist at the University of Lisbon. Her family history was significant for a grandparent with melanoma.
Dr. Borges noted that the parents and patient were given advice regarding the importance of the lifelong use of sun-protective clothing and headgear. “Education of pediatric organ recipients and their parents about sun protection is important because, as occurred with our patient, protective clothing and hats are frequently forgotten.”
Because of the ongoing potential for skin malignancies, early referral “after transplantation to specialized dermatology outpatient clinics, similar to what is now advocated for transplanted adults, could help in surveillance and improve adherence to sun-protective measures,” he added.
SOURCE: Borges-Costa J et al. .