Dermatology Unit, “Cristo Re” General Hospital, Rome, Italy
Molecular Diagnostics of Oncogenic Infections Division, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
Melanoma Unit, IDI-IRCCS–FLMM, Rome, Italy
Clinical Epidemiology Unit, IDI-IRCCS–FLMM, Rome, Italy
Background: A possible causative role for human papilloma virus (HPV) in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) development has been suggested but the data in the literature remain discordant. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the possible association between HPV-16 and the risk of cSCC development. Materials & Methods: Between January 2009 and April 2010, 153 patients with previous cases of cSCC or BCC (enrolled in a previous study, 2003-2005, and tested for antibodies against 28 HPV types) were investigated at a follow-up visit. The risk of developing a new cSCC for each of the cutaneous HPV types was computed separately for HPV-16-positive and in HPV-16-negative patients. Results: The five-year probability of cSCC recurrence was increased among subjects with cSCC who were seropositive for HPV-16 at baseline and seropositive for a cutaneous HPV type, but not among those who were HPV-16-negative. We also investigated the association between p53, BKV, and JCV antibodies and an increased risk of cSCC recurrence, however, no associations were observed. Conclusion: HPV-16 may play a permissive role for some cutaneous HPVs, thus increasing the risk of cSCC.