Human papillomavirus (HPV) may be a risk factor in developing squamous cell carcinoma, a common form of skin cancer, according to research led by Dartmouth Medical School. The study, published in the March 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, used new technology to detect antibodies from a strain of HPV on skin cancer samples.
"We found a virus that may be a risk factor for skin cancer," said lead investigator Dr. Margaret Karagas, of Dartmouth Medical Schools Norris Cotton Cancer Center. "Although sun exposure and sensitivity to sun are still the main culprits in skin cancer, our findings suggest skin types of HPV also may play a role in the development of squamous cell carcinomas."
Previous research has found a relationship between cancer of the cervix and "alpha" or mucosal types of HPV. Karagas and her team focused their research on the skin types or "beta" HPVs. The research team searched for beta HPV antibodies in plasma samples from 252 patients with squamous cell carcinoma, 525 patients with basal cell carcinomas and 461 control subjects.
Andy Nordhoff | EurekAlert!
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