Published: September 2010

Reminder - skin cancer risk with immunosuppressant treatment

Prescriber Update 31(3): 22
September 2010

Immunosuppressant treatment is associated with an increased risk of cancer.

In New Zealand patients the high levels of UV radiation means the risk of skin cancer is a particular concern. It is now thought that immunosuppressed patients may be at even higher risk of skin cancer if they also experience photosensitivity reactions caused by concomitant medicines such as voriconazole or co-trimoxazole for example.1

With summer approaching prescribers are asked to remind patients about the risk of skin cancer and how to perform self skin examination. Guidance is published on the New Zealand Dermatological Society website: procedures/self-skin-examination.html

Further information on photosensitivity reactions in New Zealand was published in the February 2010 edition of Prescriber Update:

  1. Miller DD, Cowen EW, Nguyen JC et al 2010 Melanoma associated with long-term voriconazole therapy: a new manifestation of chronic photosensitivity. Arch Dermatol 146 (3) 300-4.