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April 1997

Lack of Evidence of Any Association Between Human Herpesvirus 8 and Various Skin Tumors From Both Immunocompetent and Immunosuppressed Patients

Author Affiliations

Service de Dermato-Vénéréologie Hôpital Tarnier-Cochin 89 rue d'Assas 75006 Paris, France


Arch Dermatol. 1997;133(4):537. doi:10.1001/archderm.1997.03890400143033

DNA sequences of a novel herpesvirus, namely human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), were recently discovered in biopsy specimens of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) tissue.1-3 Human herpesvirus 8 DNA sequences have also been detected in body cavity—based lymphomas and in multicentric Castleman disease.4,5 Moreover, HHV-8 DNA sequences have also been reported in different non-KS skin lesions from immunosuppressed patients, suggesting that HHV-8 is a widespread virus activated by immunosuppressive conditions and is associated with proliferating lesions in immunosuppressed patients.6 However, the latter theory was not confirmed by 2 recent studies.7,8

Samples of 33 fresh skin lesions from 23 immunocompetent patients and 3 patients without the human immunodeficiency virus who underwent organ transplantion were analyzed. Specimens were collected at the Department of Dermatology, Hôpital Tarnier-Cochin, Paris, France, and stored at —80°C until processed. Skin lesions from immunocompetent patients included the following: basal cell carcinomas (n=17), squamous cell carcinomas (n=3), Bowen

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