What is the role of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in the etiology of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC)?

Updated: Jul 08, 2020
  • Author: Talib Najjar, DMD, MDS, PhD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

The component of sunlight believed to be most important in cutaneous carcinogenesis is UVB (290-320 nm), which is an initiator and a promoter of carcinogenesis. In animal models, UV-induced photocarcinogenesis appears to involve the UVB and UVA-2 spectral ranges. [12]

UV-light treatments used for psoriasis (and other recalcitrant dermatoses) also predispose to the development of SCC. Psoralen and UVA (PUVA) therapy is particularly phototoxic, with mutations in both TP53 and the oncogene Ha -Ras being present in a large proportion of patients with PUVA-associated cSCC. [13] In addition to being mutagenic, UVA in conjunction with UVB is a potent suppressor of the cutaneous immune system, which likely contributes to its role in cutaneous carcinogenesis.


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