Although cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is one of the most common malignancies in individuals of European ancestry, the incidence of cSCC in Hispanic/Latinos is also increasing. cSCC has both a genetic and environmental etiology. Here, we examine the role of genetic ancestry, skin pigmentation, and sun exposure in Hispanic/Latinos and non-Hispanic whites on cSCC risk. We observe an increased cSCC risk with greater European ancestry (P = 1.27 × 10) within Hispanic/Latinos and with greater northern (P = 2.38 × 10) and western (P = 2.28 × 10) European ancestry within non-Hispanic whites. These associations are significantly, but not completely, attenuated after considering skin pigmentation-associated loci, history of actinic keratosis, and sun-protected versus sun-exposed anatomical sites. We also report an association of the well-known pigment variant Ala111Thr (rs1426654) at SLC24A5 with cSCC in Hispanic/Latinos. These findings demonstrate a strong correlation of northwestern European genetic ancestry with cSCC risk in both Hispanic/Latinos and non-Hispanic whites, largely but not entirely mediated through its impact on skin pigmentation.
Genetic ancestry, skin pigmentation, and the risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in Hispanic/Latino and non-Hispanic white populations.