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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2003 August;138(4):275-85

Copyright © 2003 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Immunotherapy for nonmelanoma skin cancer

Urosevic M., Dummer R.

Department of Dermatology University Hospital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland


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Nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) are the most common malignancies in the white human population. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin comprise more than 95% of all NMSCs. Current data show an increasing incidence of NMSCs in recent decades. Although the mortality is low, this cancer group is associated with substantial morbidity. Multiple treatment modalities are available for NMSC, with surgery being the “corner stone” of current therapy approaches. However, in patients with multiple lesions or in cases of tumors on critical locations, disfigurement and the disease recurrence may represent a serious problem associated with the surgical treatment. The purpose of this article is to review and analyze whether NMSCs could represent targets for immune therapy, evaluating the aspects of the availability of tumor antigens and the existence of tumor-specific immune response, including a summary of the major clinical studies dealing with immunotherapy in NMSC.

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