Independent report: Transplantation of organs from donors with a history of cancer

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Department Of Health


The Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) reviewed evidence including the outcomes of transplants in the UK of organs from donors who had cancer or a history of cancer. They drew up a series of recommendations, and categorised a number of cancers according to their risk of transmission to the recipient of an organ transplant.

SaBTOs findings and recommendations will help transplant surgeons to decide whether transplanting a particular organ would be in their patients best interests. It could enable surgeons and patients to use with confidence some organs they might otherwise hesitate to accept.

Published 22 April 2014
Last updated 24 December 2020 +show all updates

  1. Updated recommendation 7 to state that the organ retrieval team must make every reasonable effort to exclude previously recognised cancer or cancer spread during the retrieval process. Added paragraph to document: ‘Donors with malignant melanoma’ (page 7).

  2. The document has been updated to better reflect the most recent guidance available to surgeons.

  3. First published.

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