Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC) are keratinocyte carcinomas (KC), the most frequently diagnosed cancers in fair-skinned populations. Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is the main driving carcinogen for these tumors but immunosuppression, pigmentary factors, and aging are also risk factors. Scientific discoveries have improved the understanding of the role of human papillomaviruses (HPV) in cSCC as well as the skin microbiome and a compromised immune system in the development of both cSCC and BCC. Genomic analyses have uncovered genetic risk variants, high-risk susceptibility genes, and somatic events that underlie common pathways important in KC tumorigenesis and tumor characteristics which have enabled development of prediction models for early identification of high-risk individuals. Advances in chemoprevention in high-risk individuals and progress in targeted and immune-based treatment approaches have the potential to decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with these tumors. As the incidence and prevalence of KC continue to increase, strategies for prevention, including effective sun protective behavior, educational interventions and reduction of tanning bed access and usage are essential. Gaps in our knowledge requiring additional research in order to reduce the high morbidity and costs associated with KC include better understanding of factors leading to more aggressive tumors, the roles of microbiome and HPV infection, prediction of response to therapies including immune checkpoint blockade, and how to tailor both prevention and treatment to individual risk factors and needs.
Clin. Cancer Res.
Keratinocyte Carcinomas: Current concepts and future research priorities.