Transplants: Casting Out Cancer

Medical experts have long suspected that organs donated by cancer victims might cause danger—and possibly death —to their recipients. Still, for lack of other available transplant sources, they continued using them. Last week, writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, a kidney transplant team at Boston's Peter Bent Brigham Hospital told how cancer can be transplanted along with a donated organ. At the same time, they provided new, clear-cut evidence that cancer, like a foreign organ, can also be rejected.

At least four early transplant patients who had received kidneys from donors with cancer later developed cancer themselves. Two of...