eISSN: 2299-0046
ISSN: 1642-395X
Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postępy Dermatologii i Alergologii
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vol. 35
Original paper

Evaluation of quantitative changes in regulatory T cells in peripheral blood of kidney transplant recipients with skin cancer after conversion to mTOR inhibitors

Agnieszka Cegielska, Katarzyna Lisowska, Alicja Dębska-Ślizień, Beata Imko-Walczuk, Aleksandra Okuniewska, Bolesław Rutkowski

Adv Dermatol Allergol 2018; XXXV (5): 474-480
Online publish date: 2018/07/19
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Immunosuppressive therapy, necessary for graft survival, has its clinical consequences with an increased risk of developing malignancies being one of them. It seems that the maintenance of a proper balance between cytotoxic and regulatory activity of the immune system may prevent graft rejection, and with a lower risk of cancer.

To assess the quantitative changes in regulatory T cells (Tregs) in peripheral blood of kidney transplant recipients with post-transplantation skin neoplasm after conversion to mTOR inhibitors (mTORi) and to assess the incidence of secondary skin cancer in that group of patients.

Material and Methods
Fourteen patients with post-transplant cutaneous malignancies converted to mTORi were included into the study. The control group consisted of eighteen patients maintained on immunosuppressive regimens without mTORi. The level of Tregs with a phenotype defined as CD4lowCD25high was measured before, and 6 months after, mTORi introduction.

In all cases, 6 months after conversion, a significant decrease in the ratio of CD4+CD25+ to CD4lowCD25high from 6.52 to 4.29 was detected (p = 0.035). One patient converted to mTORi developed subsequent skin cancer, while in the control group, subsequent skin cancer was recognized in eight patients. Moreover, introducing mTORi significantly improved progression-free survival in this group of patients (p = 0.016).

Introducing mTORi to the immunosuppressive regimen resulted in an increase in the number of regulatory cells without increasing the incidence of secondary skin cancer in the investigated group of patients.


skin cancer, kidney transplant recipients, immunosuppression, regulatory T cells

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