Author Interviews, Dermatology / 03.11.2017 Interview with: Alexander Egeberg, MD PhD Gentofte Hospital Department of Dermatology and Allergy Denmark What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: In recent years, a number of studies have examined associations between atopic dermatitis and various comorbidities.  However, although comorbidities are extensively being examined, cause-specific mortality in patients with atopic dermatitis has not been examined. We examined 8,686 adults with atopic dermatitis, and compared these with 86,860 age- and sex-matched individuals from the general population. In total, patients with atopic dermatitis had a 27% higher relative risk of all-cause mortality over a five-year period. Specific causes of death were due to infectious-, cardiovascular-, and urogenital diseases, respectively. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA / 01.11.2017 Interview with: Eliot N. Mostow, MD, MPH Professor & Chair, Dermatology Section Department of Internal Mediciine Northeast Ohio Medical University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for the study is my continued interest in what is sometimes called health services research. That is, how do we improve our ability to deliver optimal medical care from a healthcare system perspective? Simply put, one of the most frequent criticisms about getting a dermatologist to see if patient is that there are delays in scheduling (wait times are too high). I’m not sure this is really justified, as it seems to take a long time to get into psychiatrists, gynecologists, and other specialists in our community as well. That being said, since I’m in the dermatology community and our community has been utilizing physician assistants and nurse practitioners more frequently for many years now, we thought it was worthwhile to explore whether this was having an impact on wait times to get a visit in a dermatologist’s office. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics / 26.10.2017 Interview with: Erik Stratman, MD Chairman, Department of Dermatology Marshfield Clinic, WI What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The United States Food and Drug Administration has classified tanning beds as cancer-causing. Tanning bed exposure has been linked with increased risk of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer that preferentially affects young people.  While no current federal ban exists on indoor tanning of minors, there have been over 40 states (43) and the District of Columbia that passed laws limiting the use of tanning beds for minors.  Despite these laws, nearly 1.9 million high school students in the United States are tanning in tanning salons. In this study, researchers posed as minors called 427 tanning salons in 42 states and the District of Columbia.  Following a script that included questions like ‘would my mom have to come with me? I was hoping to come after school.’ Salons were randomly selected by zip code, with 10 salons selected for each state.  Overall, 37.2% of tanning salons were out of compliance with state legislation. Illinois, New Hampshire, and Oregon were the only states scoring 100% compliant with the state law for those tanning salons contacted.  Alabama scored the lowest with 0% compliant for those tanning salons contacted.  Statistically significant decreases in compliance were found for rural, independently owned, and Southern US tanning salons. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology / 17.10.2017 Interview with: Neelam A. Vashi, MD Assistant Professor of Dermatology Director, Boston University Center for Ethnic Skin Director, Cosmetic and Laser Center Boston University School of Medicine Boston Medical Center   Mayra B. C. Maymone, MD, DSc. Department of Dermatology Boston University , Boston What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Societal interest with beauty dates back centuries; Plato described the 3 wishes of every man to include beauty, good health, and riches.  Given this fascination, there are many people who have dedicated their entire lives to studying the concept of beauty and the implications it presents to society.  The ability to set ‘beauty’ as a standard of comparison has shown us the advantages of being deemed beautiful – those who are more beautiful being able to get jobs easier and go out on more dates.  Beautiful people are even more often attributed qualities such as likeability, social competence, and intelligence. The study and concept of beauty are quite fascinating yet complicated.  We have found that there are both biological/innate indicators and also subjective aspects.  As discussed in my article, the classical conception of beauty is a matter of mathematical conceptions and instantiating definite proportions.  However, this inflexible treatment of the concept of beauty as objective denies paying tribute to its many different aspects and the contributions of individuality, culture, and history.  From our study, we can see that beauty standards are evolving and slowly drifting from the rigid standards once set. We found that compared to 1990, celebrities rated beautiful in 2017 were older, more often women, and had a higher rate of darker skin types and mixed race. The study of beauty is a quite lengthy topic - I wrote a book on it: (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Melanoma, Transplantation, University of Pennsylvania / 17.10.2017 Interview with: Thuzar M.Shin MD, PhD Assistant Professor of Dermatology Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The Organ Procurement Transplant Network (OPTN) collects data on cancers that develop after organ transplantation. Previous studies have shown incomplete reporting to the OPTN for many cancers (including melanoma). Skin cancer is the most common malignancy in solid organ transplant recipients and the most common post-transplant skin cancer, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), is not captured in standard cancer registries. We hypothesized that cSCC and melanoma are underreported to the OPTN. When compared to detailed medical record review obtained from the Transplant Skin Cancer Network database (JAMA Dermatol. 2017 Mar 1;153(3):296-303), we found that the sensitivity of reporting to the OPTN was only 41% for cSCC and 22% for melanoma. The specificity (99% for cSCC and 100% for melanoma) and negative predictive values (93% for cSCC and 99% for melanoma) were high. As a result, the OPTN database is unable to robustly and reliably distinguish between organ transplant recipients with and without these two skin malignancies. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Melanoma, Surgical Research / 05.10.2017 Interview with: Adewole Adamson, MD, MPP Department of Dermatology UNC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Surgery is the primary intervention for the treatment of melanoma. Little is known about how delays for surgery, defined as the time between diagnosis and surgical treatment, among melanoma patient differ by insurance type. After adjustment of patient-level, provider-level, and tumor-level factors we found that Medicaid patients experience a 36% increased risk of delays in surgery for melanoma. These delays were 19% less likely in patients diagnosed and 18% less likely in patients surgically treated by dermatologists. Non-white patients also had a 38% increased risk of delays. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Surgical Research / 28.09.2017 Interview with: P. Daniel Ward, MD, MS, FACS Facial Plastic Surgeon WardMD Form Medical SpaAdjunct Associate Professor, University of Utah School of Medicine Salt Lake City, Utah 84121 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As a facial plastic surgeon with an interest in finding treatments for patients with facial paralysis, we are always looking for ways to improve the care that our patients receive. One of those treatments is to treat the effects of abnormal and asymmetric facial motion with botulinum, which decreases the deformity that results from facial nerve disorders by decreasing muscular hyperactivity. This study was based on the fact that there are three commercially available types of botulinum available for treatment of the face. There have been studies that have compared the different types of botulinum for cosmetic purposes, but there have not been any studies that specifically looked to see if there were any differences between the different types of botulinum when used for treatment of facial nerve disorders. The main finding of the study is that the three different types of botulinum are essentially equivalent with the exception being that one type of botulinum, incobotulinum toxin, was slightly less effective than the other two types of botulinum at the 4-week follow up point. Of note, all three types were equivalent at all other time points. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, Pediatrics / 28.09.2017 Interview with: Elena Netchiporouk, MD, FRCPC, MSc Dermatology Resident - PGY5 and Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan, MD, FRCPC, MSc McGill University What is the background for this study? Response: We have followed a pediatric cohort of 139 patients with chronic urticaria (CU) (hives) between 2013 and 2015 in a single tertiary care center and assessed the comorbidities, the rate of resolution and determined predictors of resolution. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, JAMA, Surgical Research / 11.09.2017 Interview with: Matthew Q. Miller, MD Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer worldwide. In the United States, 3.3 million people are diagnosed with a new skin cancer annually and many of these individuals will have more than one cancer. The face is the most common place for skin cancers to develop. Mohs micrographic surgery (often referred to as Mohs surgery) is the standard of care for some skin cancers on the face. Once the cancer is removed, the skin defect is usually repaired by the Mohs surgeon but many require referral to a reconstructive surgeon. We were intrigued by a recent publication that noted an increased risk in complications when repair of Mohs defects is delayed beyond 2 days. While most patients that will require referral for reconstruction can be predicted and scheduled accordingly in concert with the Mohs surgery, it is not infrequent that a Mohs procedure requires multiple, unexpected passes to excise the entire cancer and the patient is then left with an unexpectedly large defect requiring reconstruction. These large defects often require more OR time and planning and, therefore, reconstruction cannot be easily completed within 2 days of the Mohs procedure. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA / 08.09.2017 Interview with: Kaveri Korgavkar, MD Department of Dermatology Brown University Providence, Rhode Island What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Photodamage refers to premature skin aging from long-term UV exposure. Topical fluorouracil cream, typically used in the treatment of actinic keratosis, has been suggested for use in treating photodamage due to clinical and histological findings. However, in our ad hoc secondary analysis of a large randomized clinical trial, a standard course of topical fluorouracil did not result in detectable improvement of photodamage. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Melanoma / 06.09.2017 Interview with: Riccardo Pampena MD and Caterina Longo, MD, PhD Dermatology Unit University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova-IRCCS Reggio Emilia Italy What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: High heterogeneity has been reported in previous studies on the ratio of melanoma associated with moles (nevus-associated melanomas). Despite this heterogeneity, researchers agree that some melanomas may develop in conjunction with a pre-existing mole. We know that nevus-associated melanomas are usually located on the trunk and more frequently occur in younger patients than de novo melanomas (not nevus-associated). Defining the risk for a melanoma to arise in association with a pre-existing mole is important in order to define the best strategies for early melanoma diagnosis. The main finding of our study is that only one third of melanomas arose from a pre-existing mole, in fact the majority were de novo. We also found that nevus-associated melanomas were less aggressive than de novo. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania / 03.09.2017 Interview with: Megan H. Noe MD, MPH Clinical Instructor and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow University of Pennsylvania, Department of Dermatology Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine Philadelphia, PA 19104 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous research has shown that patients with psoriasis have higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease that may put them at an increased risk of death. Our research found that patients with psoriasis covering more than 10% of their body had almost double the risk of death than people of the same age with similar medical conditions, but without psoriasis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Infections / 02.09.2017 Interview with: Kyle T. Amber, MD Department of Dermatology UC Irvine Health Irvine, CA 92697 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Patients with autoimmune blistering diseases often requires significant immunosuppression in order to control their diseases. Pneumocystis pneumonia is an opportunistic infection that occurs in immunocompromised patients.  This study was borne out of my observation that most European experts in the treatment of autoimmune blistering disease did not give routine prophylaxis for pneumocystis. Among American dermatologists, there was far more disagreement. This was a collaborative effort of several international tertiary care centers. We demonstrated that the incidence of pneumocystis in 801 patients with autoimmune blistering disease was only 0.1%, which fell well below previous recommendations in the literature suggesting an incidence of 3.5% in order to justify prophylaxis. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Heart Disease / 21.08.2017 Interview with: Alexander Egeberg, MD PhD Gentofte Hospital Department of Dermatology and Allergy Kildegårdsvej 28 2900 Hellerup Denmark What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The majority cardiovascular events in psoriasis occur in patients at low risk by traditional cardiovascular risk calculators. It has been speculated that long-term exposure to systemic inflammation may increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Therefore, clinically available historical features such as disease duration may identify those at higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Using a translational epidemiological approach, combining 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography computed tomography scanning with nationwide epidemiological data of more than four million individuals, we provide the first convincing evidence to suggest a detrimental effect of psoriasis duration on cardiovascular disease beyond traditional cardiovascular risk factors, even in patients deemed “low-risk” by conventional risk scores. We found a 1% increase in future major adverse cardiovascular event risk per additional year of disease duration. This finding has an effect size similar to smoking, a well-established cardiovascular risk factor. (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Dermatology, JAMA, UCSF, Urology / 17.08.2017 Interview with:
Thomas W. Gaither, BS Department of Urology University of California, San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We study genitourinary trauma and reconstruction. This study was motivated from a previous study showing that Emergency Room visits due to grooming were increasing over the past nine year. We sought to better characterize who was at most risk for grooming injuries. We found that grooming is extremely common in both men and women and minor injuries occur in about 25% of groomers. Surprisingly, a little over one percent sought medical care due to their injury. Participants at most risk our those who remove all of their pubic hair frequently ( as opposed to those who just trim). We did not find any instruments that were necessarily putting participants at risk for injury. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology / 17.08.2017 Interview with: Prof. Gary M. Halliday Discipline of Dermatology, Bosch Institute Central Clinical School University of Sydney Sydney, NSW, Australia What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The recently published article is a review paper- we reviewed previous laboratory studies of the effects of nicotinamide on normal pigment cells and on melanoma, and also the previous studies showing that nicotinamide can reduce rates of non-melanoma skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma) in high risk patients. We have not done any clinical investigations of nicotinamide as a preventive agent for melanoma. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Dermatology, JAMA / 16.08.2017 Interview with: Kyle T. Amber, MD Department of Dermatology UC Irvine Health Irvine, CA 92697-2400 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The use of IVIg has been shown in randomized controlled trials to be safe and highly effective in the treatment of both pemphigus and bullous pemphigoid. Despite its efficacy, its cost remains a deterrent to its use. Cost studies in the United States point towards IVIg being an overall cost-saving therapy in the treatment of  Autoimmune Blistering Diseases when compared to traditional immunosuppressive treatment due to the decrease in associated infections, complications, and hospitalizations. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, Ophthalmology / 24.07.2017 Interview with: Christoph Schwab Departement of Ophthalmology Medical University of Graz Graz, Austria What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Knowledge about risk factors and/or pathways involved in pathogenesis is from special importance in order of preventing diseases. The role of sunlight in several eye diseases is unclear. In our study we found a close relation between sun light exposure - evaluated by a full body skin examination and a personal questionnaire - and iris freckles. Therefore we suggest the presence of iris freckles as a novel biomarker indicating high ocular sun exposure. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology / 21.07.2017 Interview with: Dr Jean Fletcher Assistant Professor Schools of Medicine and Biochemistry & Immunology Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin Dublin, Ireland What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is an inflammatory skin disease which causes deep, painful lesions in areas such as the underarms and groin. 1-4% of people are thought to suffer from the disease, however as it is under recognised and often misdiagnosed these may be conservative estimates. The pain and distress associated with HS leads to a poor quality of life with many patients experiencing depression. Current interventions include combinations of antibiotics, surgery to remove lesions and more recently the use of the biologic therapies such as TNF inhibitors; however these are often ineffective and there is a pressing need for more effective treatments. The cause of Hidradenitis suppurativa is unknown, however there are known risk factors which include smoking and obesity, and there is an association with inflammatory bowel disease, which suggests that dysregulation of the immune system may play a role. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Immunotherapy, JAMA, Lung Cancer / 14.07.2017 Interview with: Dr. Noelia Rivera MD Dermatologist Hospital Universitari Germans Trias i Pujol, Badalona Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona What is the background for this study? Response: In the last few years some new therapies targeting immune checkpoints have been developed. The programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) are immune checkpoints that prevent the immune system to act against own tissues. By blocking these mediators it is possible to prevent tumors to escape from the immune system. About half of the patients receiving these therapies will develop mild to moderate cutaneous adverse events. In the pre-authorization studies for malignant melanoma these include rash, vitiligo, and pruritus. "Rash" has commonly been reported as an adverse event in many oncologic trials evaluating the drugs, without providing further information about the clinical or histological details. Lately, lichenoid eruptions associated to these therapies have been reported and it suggests that an important percentage of these reactions present lichenoid histological features. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Melanoma / 14.07.2017 Interview with: Maryam M. Asgari, MD, MPH Department of Dermatology Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Laboratory studies show lithium, an activator of  the Wnt/ß-catenin signaling pathway, slows melanoma progression, but no published epidemiologic studies have explored this association. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of adult white Kaiser Permanente Northern California members (n=2,213,848) from 1997-2012 to examine the association between lithium use and melanoma risk. Our main finding is that lithium-exposed individuals had a reduced incidence of melanoma, did not develop very thick tumors (> 4 mm Breslow depth) or extensive disease at presentation, and had decreased melanoma-specific mortality compared to unexposed individuals suggesting a possible role for lithium in altering melanoma risk. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dermatology, HIV, JAMA, Kaiser Permanente, Merck / 13.07.2017 Interview with: Maryam M. Asgari, MD, MPH Department of Dermatology Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Population Medicine Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, Oakland What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Nonmelanoma skin cancer – defined as basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) – is a common malignant condition, affecting more than 2 million Americans every year. BCCs are more common than SCCs among individuals with healthy immune systems, while SCCs are more predominate than BCCs among people who are immunocompromised. We examined how laboratory markers used to evaluate HIV disease progression may be associated with subsequent nonmelanoma skin cancer risk in white patients previously diagnosed with at least one such cancer from 1996 to 2008.  We measured CD4 count, viral load and subsequent nonmelanoma skin cancer. The study included 455 participants with HIV and 1,952 without HIV. All were members of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California health care plan. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Cancer Research, Dermatology, JAMA / 07.07.2017 Interview with: Dr. Chrysalyne D. Schmults, MD, MSCE Associate Professor of Dermatology, Harvard Medical School Director, Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery Center and Mr. Pritesh S. Karia, MPH Department of Epidemiology Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland Department of Dermatology Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts Jamaica Plain, MA 02130-3446 What is the background for this study? Response: Perineural nerve invasion (PNI) is a well-recognized risk factor for poor prognosis in patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC). Most cases of CSCC with PNI are identified on histologic examination at the time of surgery and the patient has no clinical symptoms or radiologic evidence of PNI. These cases are classified as incidental PNI (IPNI). However, some patients with PNI present with clinical symptoms and/or radiologic evidence of PNI. These cases are classified as clinical PNI (CPNI). A few studies have shown differences in disease-related outcomes between CSCC patients with IPNI and CPNI but consensus regarding adjuvant treatment and detailed guidelines on follow-up schedules have not yet materialized. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Dermatology, JAMA, University of Pennsylvania / 06.07.2017 Interview with: Mackenzie R. Wehner, MD, MPhil Department of Dermatology University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA What is the background for this study? Response: For some diseases, we have national registries, in which information about every person with that disease is entered for research purposes. For other diseases, unfortunately, we do not have such registries. There are growing opportunities to use information like internet searches to better understand behaviors and diseases, however. Our study was a proof-of-concept: we aimed to find out whether internet searches for diseases correlated with known incidence (how many people are diagnosed with the disease) and mortality (how many people die of the disease) rates. E.g. does the number of people who searched 'lung cancer' online correlate with the number of people who we know were diagnosed with or who died of lung cancer during that same time period? This is important to know if researchers in the future want to use internet search data for diseases where we lack registry information. (more…)
Author Interviews, BMJ, Dermatology / 03.07.2017 Interview with: Joann G. Elmore M.D., M.P.H. Professor of Medicine, Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, University of Washington School of Medicine Harborview Medical Center Seattle, WA 98104-2499 What is the background for this study? JE: Previous studies on diagnostic accuracy in interpreting melanocytic lesions exist but have small sample size, inclusion of experts only, or small numbers of specimens. We sought to examine accuracy and reproducibility in melanocytic skin lesions by improving upon the methodological limitations of previous studies. Specifically, we recruited a large national sample of practicing community and academic pathologists with a wide range of experience, and we utilized a large sample of biopsy cases that were carefully selected. Given that diagnostic errors can lead to patient deaths and invasive melanoma kills more than 9,000 Americans each year, we wanted to study the issue of diagnostic accuracy in interpreting melanocytic skin lesions in a very robust fashion. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, UCSF / 26.06.2017 Interview with: Dr. Katrina Abuabara MD, MA, MSCE University of California San Francisco What is the background for this study? Response: Atopic dermatitis (synonymous with atopic eczema or just “eczema”) is a common and burdensome condition that often presents in childhood but can occur in individuals of any age. It is episodic, meaning that it waxes and wanes over time, and many patients will have periods without signs or symptoms of the disease. Conventional wisdom suggests that “most children” improve by adolescence, but prior studies have not had sufficiently frequent follow-up to detect episodic disease beyond childhood. (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, Infections / 22.06.2017 Interview with: Dr. Sue Cammarata, MD Chief Medical Officer Melinta Therapeutics   Would you explain what is meant by MRSA? Response: MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a type of staph bacteria that is  resistant to many antibiotics. MRSA is noted by the CDC as one of the top 18 drug-resistant bacteria threats to the United States.  (from CDC  )   Why is infection with MRSA so serious? Response:  MRSA can cause skin infections, lung infection and other issues. If left untreated, MRSA infections can become severe and cause sepsis - a life-threatening reaction to severe infection in the body - and even death.  MRSA can also cause major issues, such as bloodstream infectionspneumonia and surgical site infections in a healthcare setting, such as a hospital or nursing home. “Resistance to first-line drugs to treat infections caused by Staphlylococcus aureus—a common cause of severe infections in health facilities and the community—is widespread. People with MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) are estimated to be 64% more likely to die than people with a non-resistant form of the infection.”  (quote from WHO website  )   (more…)
Author Interviews, Dermatology, HPV, PLoS / 22.06.2017 Interview with: Prof. Dr. med. Sigrun Smola Institute of Virology, Saarland University Homburg/Saar, Germany What is the background for this study? Response: Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), the most common cancer in humans, is caused by UV-irradiation. The potential co-factor role of cutaneous genus beta-human papillomaviruses (beta-HPV) in skin carcinogenesis, particularly in immunosuppressed patients, has become a major field of interest. However, the underlying mechanisms were unclear. The skin has natural mechanisms providing protection against UV-induced damage. One important factor suppressing UV-induced skin carcinogenesis is the transcription factor C/EBPα belonging to the CCAAT/enhancer binding protein family. C/EBPα can induce cellular differentiation and is regarded as a tumor suppressor in various tissues. When C/EBPα expression is blocked in these tissues, tumorigenesis is enhanced. Another important factor is the microRNA-203. It has been shown to control “stemness” in normal skin by suppressing a factor called p63. In many tumors miR-203 expression is shut off releasing this “brake”. In our study we demonstrate that cutaneous beta-HPV interferes with both protective factors providing an explanation how cutaneous beta-HPV enhances the susceptibility to UV-induced carcinogenesis. Moreover, we provide evidence that these viruses regulate miR-203 via C/EBPα. We have investigated this mechanism in Epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV) patients that serve as a human model disease for studying the biology of genus beta-HPVs. They are highly susceptible to persistent genus beta-HPV infection, such as HPV8, and have an increased risk to develop non-melanoma skin cancer at sun-exposed sites. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Dermatology, Melanoma / 22.06.2017 Interview with: David E. Fisher MD, PhD Edward Wigglesworth Professor & Chairman Dept of Dermatology Director, Melanoma Program MGH Cancer Center Director, Cutaneous Biology Research Center Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02114 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study grew from an interest to mimic the dark pigmentation patterns in human skin which are known from epidemiology to be associated with low skin cancer risk. In the current work, a molecular inhibitor of the SIK enzyme was used to block the inhibitory action of SIK relative to melanin synthesis. The result was stimulation of dark pigmentation within human skin. (more…)