Aftercare in organ grafted patients still focuses on prevention and therapy of organ rejection. Nowadays, with increasing survival times of allografted patients, regular dermatological checkups become more and more important. While in the first year following transplantation special emphasis is given to the prevention of viral, bacterial and fungal infections, a significantly increased incidence of non-melanoma skin cancer is paralleling the extended survival rates of allografted patients. Cancer is now responsible for a mortality rate of 5-8%. Accounting for almost 50% of all malignancies in transplant patients, non-melanoma skin cancers, especially squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and its precursor lesions, actinic keratoses (AK), represent the great majority of OTR cancers.
The SCOPE Network is designed as an interdisciplinary Network of dermatologists, transplant physicians, patient support groups and basic researchers brought together to meet the increasing need for qualified dermatological aftercare in this specialist group of patients. The SCOPE Network evolved in 2000 on a national level (France, Italy, Germany) and subsequently expanded on a European Level in 2002.
Close cooperation at an international level with our sister organisation, the North-American and Australian ITSCC (International Skin Cancer in Organ Transplant Patients Collaborative Group), represents an integral part of our network and emphasizes the need for global collaboration in the field of transplant dermatology.
On the following pages we offer an overview on our current working process, information for patients, colleagues and researchers likewise. Although these pages contain medical information, it is in no ways the interest of the authors to substitute the qualified dermatological aftercare provided through your local dermatologists and involved transplant physicians. Furthermore we cannot and will in no ways provide personal medical advice over the internet but have to refer you to your local specialist or your nearest SCOPE-centre.
Thanks for your interest.
Mirjam Naegeli and Petter Gjersvik
Secretary European SCOPE Network