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The Immune System in Skin Cancers

Research group
01.01.2022 -
Institute of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences


Group description

Melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) have been increasing in population in an epidemic fashion during the last 4 decades, and these cancer types cause a significant burden to the health care system. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the essential factor in skin carcinogenesis through induction of immunosuppression and DNA damage.

The immune system and peritumoral stroma can play an essential role in the growth and invasion of cancers. The role of the immune system is emphasized in organ transplant recipients that have a highly increased risk for skin cancers due to effective immunosuppressive treatment. Increased number of cells of the immune system is a typical feature of a variety of skin cancer types. However, their proinflammatory or immunosuppressive function in tumorigenesis is not sufficiently known.

The research project, constituting a part of the North-Savo Skin Cancer Program (NoSCaP), is aimed at enhancing secondary prevention of skin cancers through identification of patients at increased risk for skin cancers. An especial focus of the project is to identify the immunomarkers that can predict skin cancer development. In order to achieve this goal, NoSCaP will be using skin cancer material collected at Kuopio University Hospital in 2000-2013 and subsequently transferred to the Biobank of Eastern Finland. In addition, a follow-up project of patients at increased risk for skin cancers has been initiated. Skin biopsies and blood samples collected from these patients at the first visit at the dermatological policlinic will be analyzed for a variety of immunomarkers.



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