We read with interest the article by Smith et al1 that appeared in the December 1993 issue of the Archives concerning the absence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) of nongenital skin from immunocompromised renal transplant patients.
The conclusion of this article was that HPV does not play a role in the increased incidence of SCCs of nongenital skin in renal transplant recipients. The authors came to this conclusion after failing to find HPV DNA in 28 nongenital SCCs from renal transplant patients by polymerase chain reaction. In addition, evaluation of 20 nongenital SCCs in immunocompetent patients also failed to show the presence of HPV DNA.
The failure to demonstrate HPV DNA in nongenital SCCs of immunocompetent patients is contrary to the results we obtained from polymerase chain reaction analysis of 37 human nonmelanoma skin cancers in immunocompetent patients (21 SCCs and 16 basal cell carcinomas).
Goldberg LH, Griego RD, Ananthaswamy HN. Absence of Human Papillomavirus in Squamous Cell Carcinomas of Nongenital Skin From Immunocompromised Renal Transplant Patients: A Comment. Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(1):107. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690130111025