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J. Clin. Med. 2015, 4(6), 1229-1239; doi:10.3390/jcm4061229

Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinomas in Organ Transplant Recipients

Medical School, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 6431 Fannin, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Center for Clinical Studies, 1401 Binz, Suite 200, Houston, TX 77004, USA
Department of Dermatology, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jane Grant-Kels
Received: 9 May 2015 / Revised: 27 May 2015 / Accepted: 28 May 2015 / Published: 3 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Clinical Advances of Human Papillomaviruses)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [111 KB, uploaded 3 June 2015]


Non-melanoma skin cancers represent a major cause of morbidity after organ transplantation. Squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) are the most common cutaneous malignancies seen in this population, with a 65–100 fold greater incidence in organ transplant recipients compared to the general population. In recent years, human papillomaviruses (HPV) of the beta genus have been implicated in the pathogenesis of post-transplant SCCs. The underlying mechanism of carcinogenesis has been attributed to the E6 and E7 proteins of HPV. Specific immunosuppressive medications, such as the calcineurin inhibitors and azathioprine, are associated with a higher incidence of post-transplant SCCs compared to other immunosuppressive agents. Compared to other immunosuppressives, mTOR inhibitors and mycophenolate mofetil have been associated with a decreased risk of developing post-transplant non-melanoma skin cancers. As a result, they may represent ideal immunosuppressive medications in organ transplant recipients. Treatment options for post-transplant SCCs include surgical excision, Mohs micrographic surgery, systemic retinoid therapy, adjunct topical therapy, electrodessication and curettage, and radiation therapy. This review will discuss the epidemiology, risk factors, and management options of post-transplant SCCs. In addition, the underlying mechanisms of beta-HPV mediated carcinogenesis will be discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: human papillomavirus (HPV); organ transplant; skin cancer; squamous cell carcinoma human papillomavirus (HPV); organ transplant; skin cancer; squamous cell carcinoma
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chockalingam, R.; Downing, C.; Tyring, S.K. Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinomas in Organ Transplant Recipients. J. Clin. Med. 2015, 4, 1229-1239.

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