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Potential Biomarkers of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma From Actinic Keratosis

By: Kelly M. Hennessey, PhD
Posted: Monday, January 25, 2021

Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma comprises 20% of all skin cancers, with actinic keratosis precancerous lesions as the most significant risk factor for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Chengxin Li, MD, of The First Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China, and colleagues performed a microarray data analysis and found several genes associated with the progression of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma from actinic keratosis. Their results were published in Medicine.

An estimated 65% to 97% of cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas arise from actinic keratoses, yet despite the frequency of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, its underlying molecular pathogenesis is poorly characterized. Genetic studies have shown that actinic keratoses have a similar karyotypic profile to cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, providing evidence that actinic keratoses progress to cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma but display a reduced degree of complexity, indicating an earlier stage of tumor development.

Researchers used differentially expressed genes of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma samples with controlled actinic keratosis samples from two different data sets for their bioinformatics analysis. After removing duplicate genes and genes with inconsistent expression trends, they identified 238 upregulated genes and 473 downregulated genes. The upregulated genes identified as potential targets were JUN, FLNA, CSNK1D, and HIST1H3F, and the downregulated potential target genes were AR, HSPH1, TPM1, PKM, LIMA1, and SYNPO. The most differentially expressed genes in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and actinic keratosis were JUN, FLNA, AR, HSPH1, and CSNK1D.

“Our study identified several candidate genes which may be closely related to the occurrence and progression of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma from actinic keratosis,” summarized the researchers. “These genes may function as the biomarkers of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and contribute to the development of novel targeted therapies for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma,” they concluded.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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