Male human papillomavirus infection post-kidney transplant: an overlooked disease

While immunosuppressive regimens improve the overall survival of renal transplant recipients, they also contribute to the long-term complications of post-transplant malignancies. Chronic immune suppression in renal transplant recipients (RTR) increases the risk of viral-associated cancers.

In male RTR, human papillomavirus (HPV) is implicated in the development of penile, anal, oropharyngeal, and non-melanoma skin carcinomas. Despite the significance of this virus in RTR, there is an overall deficiency in the understanding of the natural history of HPV infection in male RTR.

In the next 20 years, it is believed that cancers will be the leading cause of death in kidney transplant recipients. HPV-associated carcinomas are of particular interest since they are sexually transmitted and in theory may be preventable diseases.

This commentary highlights some of the progress made in understanding how HPV is transmitted amongst couples in the general population. It also summarizes the current knowledge of HPV infection in male RTR and describes the deficiencies in published medical literature.

Published on: 2012-11-16

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