Skin Carcinoma and UV

Principal investigators

Skin carcinomas are the most frequent malignancies in white populations and exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun appears to be a major etiological factor.  UV radiation damages DNA which causes mutations in genes which can render skin cells malignant. Variations in genetic background, viz. in pigmentation and repair of damaged DNA, determine susceptibility to the formation of skin carcinomas. Certain types of human papilloma virus (HPV) could raise the susceptibility. Aside of this direct carcinogenic impact, UV irradiation affects the immune system, most notably the cellular immunity against skin carcinomas can be suppressed. Such immune modulatory effects are utilized in the dermatological clinic in phototherapy of skin diseases, most specifically psoriasis, but these immunological effects can also cause “sun allergy” of the skin (“polymorphic light eruption”, PLE). Of general benefit to our health is the UV-driven synthesis of vitamin D3 in the skin, which among other can lead to inhibition of tumor growth.

Figure 1 Squamous Cell Carcinoma Figure 1: Squamous Cell Carcinoma  (carcinoma spinocellulare)

Key publications

  1. de Gruijl FR, Koehl GE, Voskamp P, Strik A, Rebel HG, Gaumann A, de Fijter JW, Tensen CP, Bouwes Bavinck JN, Geissler EK. Early and late effects of the immunosuppressants rapamycin and mycophenolate mofetil on UV carcinogenesis. Int J Cancer 2010; 127:796-804.
  2. Bouwes Bavinck JN, Neale RE, Abeni D, Euvrard S, Green AC, Harwood CA, de Koning MN, Naldi L, Nindl I, Pawlita M, Pfister H, Proby CM, Quint WG, ter SJ, Waterboer T, Weissenborn S, Feltkamp MC On Behalve. Multicenter study of the association between betapapillomavirus infection and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
  3. Wisgerhof HC, van der Boog PJ, de Fijter JW, Wolterbeek R, Haasnoot GW, Claas FH, Willemze R, Bouwes Bavinck JN. Increased risk of squamous-cell carcinoma in simultaneous pancreas kidney transplant recipients compared with kidney transplant recipients. J Invest Dermatol 2009; 129:2886-2.
  4. Nijhof JG, Braun KM, Giangreco A, van Pelt C, Kawamoto H, Boyd RL, Willemze R, Mullenders LH, Watt FM, de Gruijl FR, van Ewijk W. The cell-surface marker MTS24 identifies a novel population of follicular keratinocytes with characteristics of progenitor cells. Development. 2006 Aug;133(15):3027-37.
  5. Stout GJ, Westdijk D, Calkhoven DM, Pijper O, Backendorf CM, Willemze R, Mullenders LH, de Gruijl FR. Epidermal transit of replication-arrested, undifferentiated keratinocytes in UV-exposed XPC mice: an alternative to in situ apoptosis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Dec 27;102(52):18980-5