HPV Infection Multiplies Risk of Skin Cancer
A new study done by the researchers at the Motiff Cancer center and colleagues at the University of Florida, the German Cancer Research center in Heidelberg and the international Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, and found that certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection may be linked with the incidence of squamous cell carcinoma(SCC), a form of skin cancer.
The findings that were being published in The Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, was the first case control study done to find a correlation between SCC and cutaneous HPV. This study was supported by a grant from the James and Esther King New Investigator grant through the Florida Department of Health and by the Miles for Moffitt Foundation Funds.
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The HPV produces epithelial tumors of the skin and mucous membranes. Till date there is an evidence of more than 100 HPV existing, and the genomes of more than 80 have been completely sequenced. People with multiple sexual partners and those who already have persistent HPV infection are at increased risk for acquiring additional HPV strains.
Lead author of the study Dana E. Rollison, Ph.D., Moffitt associate member, vice president and chief health information officer, explained, "UV radiation exposure is the most important risk factor for the development of non-melanoma skin cancer. Causes of non-melanoma skin cancers are increasing despite the increased use of sunscreen products. Thus, so that new interventions can be developed, there is a need to identify co-factors that may interact with UV radiation exposure in increasing the skin cancer risk."
The study was conducted on 657 subjects, wherein 204 were linked to BCC, 156 with SCC and 297 without cancer. The researchers took blood samples from each participants or cutaneous HPV antibody measurement. Along with this the subjects were asked to answer a questionnaire on sunlight exposure, lifestyle factors, demographics and personal constitutional characteristics. The study found squamous cell carcinoma was significantly associated with antibodies to HPV 10 in genus alpha and HPV types 8 and 17 in genus beta.
Rollison concluded "Identifying how HPV infections might influence sunlight-associated risks of NMSC may lead to improved identification of high-risk individual's and also aid in the development of new prevention strategies."