Voriconazole-associated cutaneous malignancy: A literature review on photocarcinogenesis in organ transplant recipients

Kiyanna Williams, Matthew Mansh, Peter Chin-Hong, Jonathan Singer, Sarah Tuttleton Arron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


This article synthesizes the current data regarding the implication of voriconazole in the development of skin cancer in organ transplant recipients (OTRs) and offers suggestions for additional research. According to Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network data, 28 051 solid organ transplants were performed in 2012. Due to advancements in immunosuppression and management of infectious diseases, survival of OTRs has substantially increased. Voriconazole is a widely prescribed antifungal medication used for prophylaxis and for treatment of invasive fungal infections in OTRs. Case reports describing skin cancer associated with voriconazole exposure emerged shortly after US Food and Drug Administration approval of the drug, and it is now established that voriconazole is an independent risk factor for the development of cutaneous malignancy in lung transplant recipients. The mechanism of voriconazole-induced skin cancer is still unknown and may involve its primary metabolite, voriconazole N-oxide. Here we discuss the current data and potential mechanisms of voriconazole-associated photosensitivity and carcinogenesis and identify areas that require further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)997-1002
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2013.


  • Organ transplant
  • Photocarcinogenesis
  • Skin cancer
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Voriconazole


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