Exploring the Epidemiology of Cancer after Solid Organ Transplantation (EpCOT): an observational cohort study

Adnan Sharif, Javeria Peracha, David Winter, Raoul Reulen, Mike Hawkins

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Solid organ transplant patients are counselled regarding increased risk of cancer (principally due to their need for lifelong immunosuppression) and it ranks as one of their biggest self-reported worries. Post-transplantation cancer is common, associated with increased healthcare costs and emerging as a leading cause of post-transplant mortality. However, epidemiology of cancer post-transplantation remains poorly understood, with limitations including translating data from different countries and national data being siloed across different registries and/or data warehouses.
Methods and analysis
Study methodology for Epidemiology of Cancer after Solid Organ Transplantation involves record linkage between the UK Transplant Registry (from NHS Blood and Transplant), Hospital Episode Statistics (for secondary care episodes from NHS Digital), National Cancer Registry (from cancer registration data hosted by Public Health England) and the National Death Registry (from NHS Digital). Deterministic record linkage will be conducted by NHS Digital, with a fully anonymised linked dataset available for analysis by the research team. The study cohort will consist of up to 85 410 solid organ transplant recipients, who underwent a solid organ transplant in England between 1 January 1985 and 31 December 2015, with up-to-date outcome data.
Ethics and dissemination
This study has been approved by the Confidentiality Advisory Group (reference: 16/CAG/0121), Research Ethics Committee (reference: 15/YH/0320) and Institutional Review Board (reference: RRK5471). The results of this study will be presented at national and international conferences, and manuscripts with results will be submitted for publication in high-impact peer-reviewed journals. The information produced will also be used to develop national evidence-based clinical guidelines to inform risk stratification to enable risk-based clinical follow-up.
Trial registration number
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere043731
JournalBMJ open
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2021


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