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The role of HPV in cutaneous carcinoma

Murphy, G.M.

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doi: 10.1097/
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Cutaneous carcinoma is most common in the white skinned peoples of the world. Skin cancer has a direct relationship with exposure to ultraviolet radiation. There are direct links to genetic syndromes which diminish DNA repair capacity. Drugs which interfere with immune surveillance and interfere with mechanisms to eradicate DNA mutations also confer risk of skin cancer. Drugs which photosensitise also are increasingly linked to skin cancer prevalence. Human papilloma virus (HPV) of high risk type is undoubtedly linked with skin cancer in the anogenital regions and rarely with periungual carcinomas. Genital high risk HPV has mechanisms well proved to be carcinogenic. Medium risk HPV is less well characterized but in the genetic disorder epidermodysplasia verruciformis is known to be a co-carcinogen together with UVR. Less definite evidence exists for the various HPV types linked with immunosuppression, some evidence indicates that such HPV may be co-carcinogenic assisting UVR to predispose to skin cancers. Skin cancer comes about from many interconnected mechanisms the relative importance of HPV is slowly being elucidated.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.