Development of models to study human papillomaviruses and their involvement in non-melanoma skin cancer (2007–2008)
Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is the most common human cancer in the Caucasian population and outnumbers all other cancers put together. Here in Australia we have the dubious distinction of having the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world and this is in part due to NMSC, for which there where 374,000 cases in 2002 alone. Besides the large numbers of cases, NMSC is also Australia's most expensive cancer to diagnose and treat with $264 million spent in 2000-2001. This equals 9% of the total costs of all cancer treatment in that time. Human papillomavirus (HPV) has been found in high prevalence in NMSC from both immunosuppressed and immunocompetent patients and it has been suggested that HPV may have an etiological role. We have identified five differnt HPV types that have been found in NMSC and we will study the oncogenic potential of these HPV types in skin cultures and mice. Finding from this study have the potential to reduce the risk and burden of NMSC worldwide.