Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Coverage from Every Angle

Expression of TRPM8 Protein in Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

By: Anna Nowogrodzki
Posted: Friday, August 6, 2021

The transient receptor potential channel of melastatin number 8 (TRPM8) appears to be overexpressed in squamous cell carcinoma and perhaps underexpressed in basal cell carcinoma compared with normal skin, according to a small clinical and immunohistochemical study. Wafaa Ahmed Shehata, MD, of Menoufia University in Shebin El Kom, Egypt, and colleagues published their results in the Journal of Immunoassay and Immunochemistry.

“This may indicate [a] possible role of TRPM8 overexpression in [the] pathogenesis of non-melanoma skin cancer, especially squamous cell carcinoma,” the authors wrote.

The study included 100 skin biopsies: 50 in the control group, 15 of basal cell carcinomas, and 35 of squamous cell carcinomas. The researchers performed immunohistochemical staining for TRPM8. They calculated a score for each sample based on the percentage of cells stained and the intensity of staining.

Staining revealed membranous expression of TRPM8 in the control samples but cytoplasmic or nucleocytoplasmic expression in the skin cancer samples. According to the investigators, these findings were similar to the results of a previous study. Squamous cell carcinomas stained more highly for TRPM8 than control samples. However, basal cell carcinomas stained less for TRPM8 than control samples. Within the squamous cell carcinoma samples, a higher staining score correlated with larger tumor size and poor tumor differentiation.

The study is limited by its small sample size, particularly for basal cell carcinoma samples. However, the authors proposed that TRPM8 may be worthy of investigation as a potential prognostic biomarker or TRPM8 antagonists may prove to be of use as a target for immunotherapy.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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