Transplant Dermatology

Dr. Mark has focused much of his academic career on Transplant Dermatology, a specialized field of dermatology for the unique dermatological needs of patients who have had solid-organ transplants, such as kidney, liver, heart, lung, and pancreas. 

Dr. Mark was one of the co-founders of a unique Dermatology Center for Transplant Patients, built on the collaborative work of transplant physicians, medical dermatologists, and surgical dermatologists.  The Dermatology Center for Transplant Patients has become an innovative model for new transplant centers across the country. 

Dr. Mark continues to care for solid-organ transplant patients and other high-risk skin cancer patients.  He does so in close collaboration with the patient’s general dermatologist and transplant team. 

Skin Cancer in Organ Transplant Patients
Organ Transplant Facts
  • There are more than 160,000 organ transplant recipients living in the United States

  • There were nearly 40,000 transplants in 2019.  

  • About 110,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant today

  • 57% of all transplants performed in the US are kidney transplants.  23% are liver transplants.  10% are heart transplants and 7% are lung transplants

  • The first human organ to be transplanted was a kidney in 1954.

  • Since organs were first transplanted in 1954, there have been more than 750,000 transplants performed in the US.

  • 95% of skin cancers in organ transplant patients are either squamous cell or basal cell carcinomas.

  • 75% of skin cancers in organ transplant patients occur on sun-exposed areas like the head, neck, and hands.

  • Transplant patients have a 65-fold increased incidence of squamous cell carcinoma, a 10-fold increased incidence of basal cell carcinoma, and a 3-fold increased risk of melanoma

  • 10 years after a transplant, the incidence of skin cancer is nearly 30%.  20 years after a transplant, the incidence of skin cancer is 40-60%.

  • The rate of skin cancer in people who have had transplants can be as high as 80% within 20 years after the transplant.

  • The risk of developing a skin cancer increases with time after the transplant.  Heart transplant patients see a rise in the incidence of skin cancer about 3-4 years after their transplant.  Liver and kidney transplant recipients see an increase in the incidence of skin cancer  about 10 years after transplant

  • One study showed that 25% of deaths were caused by skin cancer four years after a heart transplant

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