Transmission of donor-derived breast carcinoma as a recurrent mass in a keratolimbal allograft

Audra K. Miller, Jonathan W. Young, David J. Wilson, Jennifer Dunlap, Winston Chamberlain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report a case of local transmission of invasive lobular carcinoma from a donor to a recipient in a keratolimbal allograft after cessation of systemic immunosuppressive therapy. Methods: This is a case report including the clinicopathologic findings. Sections of the donor breast tumor and recipient conjunctival lesions were stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Immunohistochemical studies were performed using pancytokeratin, CK7, CK20, CAM 5.2, CD138, TTF1, estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, GATA-3, GCDFP-15, and mammaglobin. Polymerase chain reaction-based DNA profiling of tumor cells was performed. Results: Histopathologic examination revealed an infiltrate of atypical cells with large hyperchromatic nuclei consistent with carcinoma. Immunohistochemical analysis showed pancytokeratin, CK7, CAM 5.2, GATA-3, and estrogen receptor positivity and progesterone receptor absence, consistent with the previously determined phenotype of the donor's breast carcinoma. Results of polymerase chain reaction analysis were also consistent with the donor's tumor. After reduced dosing of tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil, 2 limbal tumors occurred in the recipient. The immunosuppressive treatment had been stopped completely before the appearance of the third lesion. The recipient had no history of malignancy, and she had routine screenings for breast cancer. Conclusions: We report a case of donor-derived breast carcinoma in a keratolimbal allograft recipient. The grafted tissue harbored donor-derived tumor cells for more than 4 years after surgery even after systemic immunosuppression was discontinued. Although no similar reports of tumor transfer could be found in the literature, this case suggests the need for increased stringency in donor selection and heightened surveillance for such tumor transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-739
Number of pages4
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2017


  • Allogeneic limbal stem cells
  • Cancer transmission
  • Conjunctival neoplasm
  • Donor-transmitted carcinoma
  • Invasive lobular breast carcinoma
  • Keratolimbal allograft
  • KLAL procedure
  • Limbal stem cell disease
  • Limbal stem cell transplant
  • Metastatic carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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