Surgeons said some "risky" kidney transplants proved to be successful, the BBC News reported.

The kidneys transplanted into five patients at the University of Maryland's School of Medicine in Baltimore were "riddled" with cancer, but doctors decided to use the kidneys so the patients - who had end-stage renal failure - would not die while waiting for a healthy donor.

The cancerous tumors were removed first from the kidneys before the surgery and according to reports, the recipients are still cancer-free.

"Transplanting a living donor kidney, which has been affected by a renal mass is highly controversial and considered high-risk," said Dr. Michael Phelan, a urologist and head of the surgical team. "However, the ongoing shortage of organs from deceased donors, and the high risk of dying while waiting for a transplant, prompted five donors and recipients to push ahead with surgery after the small masses were found in the donor kidneys."

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