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Antimicrobial Peptides and Basal Cell Carcinoma

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Monday, January 10, 2022

High concentrations of the antimicrobial peptides cathelicidin and β-defensin 2 (HBD-2) may be associated with the presence of basal cell carcinoma, according to findings presented in the Central European Journal of Immunology. Bogusław Antoszewski, MD, PhD, of the Medical University of Lodz, Poland, and colleagues determined that these two antimicrobial peptides seem to be potential future markers of skin cancer. However, they added, further studies are needed.

In this trial, the authors enrolled 108 patients, 50 of whom reported to a clinic because of skin lesions suspected of cancer after surgical excision. All 108 patients were nonsmokers without other malignancies and any autoimmunologic diseases. Of the group, 58 underwent surgery for other medical conditions and were admitted to undergo a 1-day procedure in the authors’ clinic. All 50 patients with skin neoplasms had their operations performed with local anesthesia, and excised skin tumors were then sent for histopathologic examination.

The results showed that 49 of the 50 patients had basal cell carcinoma. The authors discovered that the patients’ ages were significantly higher in the group with basal cell carcinoma, compared with those without. Of the patients with cancer, 31 had the nodular type, 7 had the superficial type, 7 had the ulcerative type, 2 had the multifocal type, and 2 had the in situ type.

The median serum concentration of cathelicidin was almost three times higher in patients with basal cell carcinoma (1,702.9 pg/mL) than those without the disease (613.4 pg/mL), the authors found. Additionally, the median concentration of HBD-2 was more than six times higher in patients with basal cell carcinoma (3.12) than in those with no disease (0.48).

Disclosure: The authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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