Drexel Dermatology Center for Transplant Patients

"They checked me from my head to the tip of my toes. It is really important to prevent a lot of things down the road. Prevention is always the better cure."

Albert Beaudry,
skin cancer survivor; heart and kidney transplant patient

The Drexel Dermatology Center for Transplant Patients provides comprehensive skin care to organ transplant patients. There are more than 140,000 organ transplant recipients living in the United States and over 100,000 people on organ transplant waiting lists.

As part of the transplant coordinated-care team, specially trained dermatologists in the Drexel Dermatology Center for Transplant Patients provide support, education, and expert treatment to transplant patients, both pre- and post-transplant. Because transplant patients are at a higher risk for developing skin cancers, regular skin cancer screenings are an important part of transplant care. The Drexel Dermatology Center for Transplant Patients helps promote long term health and wellness in transplant patients.

The Drexel Dermatology Center for Transplant Patients is a collaboration with Hahnemann University Hospital's Kidney and Liver Transplant Program, as well as Drexel Cardiothoracic Surgery. Together we are committed to providing transplant patients with excellent care and quality outcomes.

Skin Cancers in Transplant Patients

Transplant patients are at the highest risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common type of skin cancer. Organ transplant patients are at increased risk of developing skin cancers as a side effect of the anti-rejection medications that transplant patients are prescribed.

Transplant patients are at the highest risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common type of skin cancer. They can also develop other types of skin cancers including basal cell carcinomas, the most common type of skin cancer, and melanomas, the most serious type of skin cancer.

Skin cancers in transplant patients tend to be more aggressive and can grow at a faster rate compared to patients who have not had an organ transplant.

Treatment of Skin Cancers in Transplant Patients

Early detection is the most important factor in treating skin cancers in organ transplant patients. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most of these cancers can be completely cured with excellent outcomes.

Drexel Dermatology offers a variety of skin cancer treatment options for transplant patients, including the highly-specialized technique of removing skin cancers with Mohs surgery. Mohs surgery is the gold standard method for treating skin cancers in transplant patients. Mohs surgery offers the highest cure rate for skin cancer patients and allows the Drexel surgeon to remove 100% of the skin cancer, while leaving as much normal tissue intact as possible.

"The management of skin cancer in solid organ transplant recipients is a challenge to the dermatologist and transplant physician. Specialty dermatology clinics provide access to transplant patients, frequent skin cancer screening, patient education, and multidisciplinary care."

Drs. Fiona O'Reilly Zwald and Marc Brown, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology *

For transplant patients who develop certain melanomas, Drexel Dermatology offers a precise melanoma removal surgical technique called a staged excision, which allows for complete examination of the surrounding skin to ensure the highest rate of cure for our melanoma patients.

In addition to the technical and specialized surgical methods for the removal of skin cancers, Drexel dermatologists also focus on the prevention of skin cancers in the highest risk patients. By using a combination of topical creams, oral medications, and a unique light treatment called photodynamic therapy, Drexel dermatologists strive to lower the skin cancer risk for each of our transplant patients.

Skin Cancer Facts in Organ Transplant Patients**

  • Skin cancer is the most common cancer seen in organ transplant patients.
  • 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%.

Meet the Drexel Dermatology Center for Transplant Patients Team

Dermatologists

Dr. Mark Abdelmalek

Dr. Mark Abdelmalek is chief of the Division of Laser and Dermatologic Surgery. He completed an American College of Mohs Surgery-approved fellowship and is board certified with the American Board of Dermatology.  He is also an ABC News medical reporter.
Learn more about Dr. Abdelmalek.

Dr. Christina Chung

Dr. Christina Chung is board certified with the American Board of Dermatology. In addition to transplant dermatology, her areas of expertise include the treatment of ethnic skin and women's health.
Learn more about Dr. Chung.

 

Dr. Carrie Cusack

Dr. Carrie Cusack is the Drexel Dermatology residency program director. She is involved in both the clinical care of transplant patients and the microscopic evaluation of skin biopsies looking for skin cancer.  Dr. Cusack is board certified with both the American Board of Dermatology and the American Board of Pathology.
Learn more about Dr. Cusack.

Transplant Nephrologists

Alden Doyle, M.D., MPH

Alden Doyle, M.D., MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine;
Medical Director for Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation, Department of Nephrology

Karthik Ranganna, M.D.

Karthik Ranganna, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Associate Director, Nephrology Fellowship Program
* Physician's practice is independent of Drexel Medicine and Drexel University College of Medicine.

Transplant Hepatologists

Ken Rothstein, M.D.

Kenneth Rothstein, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine
* Physician's practice is independent of Drexel Medicine and Drexel University College of Medicine.

David Sass, M.D., FACP

David Sass, M.D., FACP
Associate Professor of Medicine and Surgery, Department of Gastroenterology
* Physician's practice is independent of Drexel Medicine and Drexel University College of Medicine.

Manish Thapar, M.D.

Manish Thapar, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine
* Physician's practice is independent of Drexel Medicine and Drexel University College of Medicine.

Transplant Cardiologists

Howard Eisen, M.D.

Howard Eisen, M.D.
Chief of the Division of Cardiology;
Thomas J. Vischer Professor of Medicine, Department of Cardiology

Shelley Hankins, M.D.

Shelley Hankins, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine;
Medical Director of Cardiac Transplantation, Department of Cardiology

Transplant Surgeons

Stephen Guy, M.D., FACS

Stephen Guy, M.D., FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgery
* Physician's practice is independent of Drexel Medicine and Drexel University College of Medicine.

David Reich, M.D., FACS

David Reich, M.D., FACS
Professor and Vice Chairman, Department of Surgery
* Physician's practice is independent of Drexel Medicine and Drexel University College of Medicine.

Gary Xiao, M.D., FACS

Gary Xiao, M.D., FACS
Assistant Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgery
* Physician's practice is independent of Drexel Medicine and Drexel University College of Medicine.

* "Skin cancer in solid organ transplant recipients: Advances in therapy and management: Part II. Management of skin cancer in solid organ transplant recipients," Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Vol. 65, Issue 2, Pg 263-279 (August 2011)
** Facts from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

Make an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with the Drexel Dermatology Transplant Center please call 215-762-5142.

Center City Office
The Arnold T. Berman, M.D. Building
219 N. Broad St., 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215-762-5142
Fax: 215-762-5570

Jennifer Hawkins If you have questions about your visit, please call:
Jennifer Hawkins
Dermatology Clinical Coordinator
Phone: 215-762-5142

 

Lissette Murria For questions about scheduling your appointment, please call:
Lissette Murria
Dermatology Scheduling Coordinator
Phone: 215-762-5142

 

The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.