Cisplatin-based chemotherapy in renal transplant recipients: A case report and a review of the literature

Vladimir I. Benisovich, Lewis Silverman, Robert Slifkin, Nelson Stone, Elliot Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Renal transplant recipients have a high incidence of cancer. The main side effect of cisplatin, nephrotoxicity, has special implications in renal transplant recipients. This is particularly true in view of the routine use of cyclosporine as an immunosuppresant. Nephrotoxicity is also one of the main side effects of cyclosporine. METHODS. We report a patient with a renal allograft who was receiving cyclosporine for immunosuppression and developed metastatic transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder and was treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy. The literature regarding cisplatin-containing chemotherapy in patients with different cancers and a single transplanted kidney is reviewed. RESULTS. The patient received four cycles of methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin while on continuous cyclosporine therapy. His renal function remained stable. He responded to chemotherapy initially, but this response was short. Ten patients with renal transplants and cancer who were treated with cisplatin have been reported previously. Two maintained on cyclosporine for immunosuppression throughout chemotherapy. No patient developed renal failure during or shortly after administration of cisplatin. Two of five patients treated for testicular cancer developed renal failure at 3 and 6 years after completion of chemotherapy. However, in both cases the cause of renal failure was attributed to chronic rejection of the transplanted kidney. CONCLUSION. Renal transplant recipients usually tolerate cisplatin-based chemotherapy well. It should be offered to patients with potentially curable cancer (e.g., germ cell tumor). This case and a review of the literature suggest that these patients retain baseline renal function even if cisplatin-based chemotherapy and cyclosporine are given simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-163
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • bladder cancer
  • cisplatin
  • cyclosporine
  • immunosuppression
  • transplantation


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