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Archive - Jul 14, 2015

New Genetic Alterations Identified in Development of Skin Squamous Cell Carcinoma; Study Seeks to Define Relevant Mutational Landscape

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin is one of the most frequent cancers in humans affecting more than half a million new persons every year in the world. The transformation of a normal cell to a cancer cell is caused by an accumulation of genetic abnormalities in the progeny of single cells. The spectrum of genetic anomalies found in a variety of human cancers has been described. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), arising from various organs including head-and-neck, lung, esophagus and skin, are induced by carcinogens, such as tobacco and UV exposure. Mouse models of carcinogen-induced skin SCCs have been used for a century and have become the most extensively used model to study cancer in vivo. However, it is still unclear whether mouse carcinogen-induced skin SCCs are mediated by the same spectrum of mutations as found in human cancer. In a new study. published online on July 13, 2015 in Nature Medicine, researchers led by Professor Cédric Blanpain, M.D./Ph.D., Professor and WELBIO Investigator at the IRIBHM, Université libre de Bruxelles-ULB, Belgium, and Professor Diether Lambrechs, Professor and VIB Investigator at the VRC, KU Leuven, Belgium, identify the genetic abnormalities leading to the development, progression, and metastasis of mouse skin SCC and demonstrate interesting similarities with human cancers. The Nature Medicine article is titled “Genomic Landscape of Carcinogen-Induced and Genetically Induced Mouse Skin Squamous Cell Carcinoma.” Dr.