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January 1995

Absence of Human Papillomavirus in Squamous Cell Carcinomas of Nongenital Skin From Immunocompromised Renal Transplant Patients: A Comment-Reply

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(1):107-108. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690130111026

Drs Goldberg, Ananthaswamy, and Griego are correct to point out the contradictory results concerning the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in nonmelanoma skin cancers. This contradiction is not limited to the two articles cited.1,2 While it is generally accepted that HPV plays a role in genital and digital squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), Moy and Eliezri3 summarized the results of several articles and concluded that ''HPV 16 is rarely, if ever, found in SCC elsewhere on the skin in healthy immuno-competent individuals.'' This conclusion is suppported by McGregor et al,4 who did not find HPV DNA in any of 14 SCCs from renal allograft recipients or 22 SCCs from healthy patients. Conflicting results, HPV DNA in cutaneous SCCs from both cardiac transplant recipients and normal individuals, have also been reported.5

We do not believe the answer to this contradiction is simply a difference in sensitivity of HPV

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