Schwartz, J. L., Kopecky, K. J., Mathes, R. W., Leisenring, W. M., Friedman, D. L. and Deeg, H. J. Basal Cell Skin Cancer after Total-Body Irradiation and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. Radiat. Res. 171, 155–163 (2009).
Previous studies identified radiation therapy as a key modifier of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) risk in survivors of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). In the present analysis, risk of BCC was analyzed in relation to age at transplant, attained age, race, total-body irradiation (TBI), and radiation fractionation in 6,306 patients who received HCT at ages 0–65 years after conditioning regimens with (n = 3870) or without (n = 2436) TBI, and who were followed from 100 days to 36.2 years after HCT. While age-specific BCC rates in the unirradiated patient population were higher than those reported for two non-patient populations, the general characteristics were similar; rates increased with attained age, were eightfold lower for non-white patients, and were higher in more recent birth cohorts. After adjusting for these effects, risk in unirradiated patients did not vary significantly with age at HCT. The additional BCC risk associated with radiation exposure was largest for the youngest ages at exposure to radiation, with relative risks exceeding 20 for those transplanted at ages less than 10 years, and decreased with increasing age at exposure until age 40 years, above which no excess risk was identified. Relative risk in the irradiated population did not vary significantly with attained age, dose fractionation or race. Risks per unit dose in HCT patients were similar to other populations exposed under clinical settings to similar radiation doses and were more than 10-fold lower than seen in the atomic bomb survivors, 97% of whom were exposed to doses <1 Sv.