Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virus Linked To Some Cases Of Common Skin Cancer

Date:
August 1, 2009
Source:
Ohio State University Medical Center
Summary:
A virus discovered in a rare form of skin cancer has been found in people with squamous cell carcinoma, a common skin cancer. Researchers identified the virus in more than a third of 58 SCC patients and in 15 percent of their tumors. Virus found in tumor cells had a mutation that could enable it to integrate into the host cell DNA, suggesting that the virus might help cause some cases of SCC.

A virus discovered last year in a rare form of skin cancer has also been found in people with the second most common form of skin cancer among Americans, according to researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

Related Articles


The researchers examined tissue samples from 58 people with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), a highly curable form of skin cancer that is expected to affect more than 200,000 Americans this year.

They identified the virus in more than a third of the patients and in 15 percent of the tumors tested. In addition, all of the virus found in tumor cells had a mutation that could enable the viral DNA to integrate into the DNA of the host cell.

“This is indirect evidence that the virus might play a role in causing some cases of squamous cell carcinoma,” says principal investigator Amanda E. Toland, assistant professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics and a researcher with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

The findings are published in a recent issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

The virus was first discovered in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare, aggressive skin cancer that occurs mainly in the elderly and people with a suppressed immune system. The people in the new study all had a healthy immune system.

“Originally it was thought that this virus caused only this rare skin cancer, but our findings indicate that it is a lot more prevalent than we initially thought.”

To learn if people with SCC harbored the virus, Toland, working closely with first author and graduate research associate Amy Dworkin and Ohio State pathologists O. Hans Iwenofu and Sara B. Peters, examined DNA samples from SCC tumors, from normal-appearing skin adjacent to the tumor, when available; from white blood cells, and from cells washed from the mouth.

The investigators detected the virus in 26 of 177 SCC samples, 11 of 63 adjacent-skin samples, and one sample from a mouthwash. They found no viral DNA in any of the blood samples from 57 patients. In all, 21 of 58 SCC patients, or 36 percent, tested positive for the virus.

By sequencing the viral DNA from 31 normal and tumor samples, the researchers showed that the same mutation was present in all the viruses tested from tumors, and in 60 percent of the viruses tested from adjacent healthy-looking tissue.

“That suggests that the virus may develop a mutation that causes it to integrate into host-cell DNA, and, therefore, may play a role in causing the cancer,” Toland says.

Next, Toland wants to test normal skin in healthy individuals to learn how common this virus is in people generally and to learn whether the virus actually integrates with the host DNA.

“If it proves to be a cancer-causing virus, and if it proves to be common in the general population, it might be something we should begin screening people for,” she says.

Funding from the American Cancer Society supported this research. Ohio State researchers Stephanie Y. Tseng and Dawn C. Allain were also involved in this study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University Medical Center. "Virus Linked To Some Cases Of Common Skin Cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730121048.htm>.
Ohio State University Medical Center. (2009, August 1). Virus Linked To Some Cases Of Common Skin Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 29, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730121048.htm
Ohio State University Medical Center. "Virus Linked To Some Cases Of Common Skin Cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090730121048.htm (accessed January 29, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

Measles Scare Sends 66 Calif. Students Home

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) Officials say 66 students at a Southern California high school have been told to stay home through the end of next week because they may have been exposed to measles and are not vaccinated. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

Group Encourages Black Moms to Breastfeed

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) A grassroots effort is underway in several US cities to encourage more black women to breastfeed their babies by teaching them the benefits of the age-old practice, which is sometimes shunned in African-American communities. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Sugary Drinks May Cause Early Puberty In Girls, Study Says

Newsy (Jan. 28, 2015) Harvard researchers found that girls who consumed more than 1.5 sugary drinks a day had their first period earlier than those who drank less. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins