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An-Wen Chan, MD, Women's College Research Institute, Women's College Hospital, Toronto, ON
The immune system plays a key role in cancer control, but 1 of every 100 Canadians has a weakened immune system. Organ transplant patients have a higher chance of developing cancer because they have a weak immune system due to anti-rejection medications. Voriconazole is a drug used to prevent and treat internal infections from fungus in patients with weakened immune systems. However, as a side effect, it is possible that voriconazole may produce more skin cancer because several patients taking the drug have developed many severe skin cancers. Dr. Chan will be studying Ontario adults who received their first lung or bone marrow replacement at University Health Network in Toronto, Canada from 2005 to 2009. His research team will assess whether transplant patients who have taken voriconazole are more likely to develop skin cancer compared to those who have not used voriconazole. This research is important because there are very few studies of voriconazole usage and skin cancer in transplant patients. Results from this study will help guide how best to monitor and prevent skin cancer in these high-risk patients.