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Cutaneous Beta-HPV May Up Risk for Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Beta-HPV detected in skin swabs may predict cuSCC risk, but no link seen for serologic evidence of past beta-HPV infection

By Physician’s Briefing Staff | August 11, 2021

Dana E. Rollison, Ph.D., from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, and colleagues examined the development of virus-positive skin cancers following cutaneous HPV infection. Baseline cutaneous HPV infection was measured by serology and viral DNA detection in eyebrow hairs and forearm skin swabs (SSWs) from 1,008 individuals undergoing routine skin cancer screening exams.

The researchers found that baseline beta-HPV detection, especially in SSWs, predicted cuSCC (hazard ratio, 4.32; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.00 to 18.66), while there was no association for serologic evidence of past beta-HPV infection and cuSCC. Less than 5 percent of baseline beta-HPV types identified in SSW were found in subsequent cuSCC tumors; cutaneous HPV was more likely to be present in cuSCC when detected in SSW with higher versus lower mean fluorescence intensity values. In areas of highly sun-damaged skin, beta-HPV-positive cuSCC occurred more often than beta-HPV-negative cuSCC. There were no clear patterns between baseline beta-HPV detection and subsequent development of basal cell carcinoma or between baseline gamma-HPV and cuSCC or basal cell carcinoma.



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