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Research Letter
March 2017

Prostaglandin E2, Tumor Necrosis Factor α, and Pro-opiomelanocortin Genes as Potential Mediators of Cancer Pain in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Organ Transplant Recipients

Author Affiliations
  • 1Dermatologische Klinik, UniversitätsSpital Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 2Department of Dermatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands
  • 3Department of Dermatology, Roosevelt Kliniek, Leiden, the Netherlands
  • 4Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Prevention Institute (EBPI), University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 5Department of Internal Medicine and Nephrology, Klinik Hirslanden, Zurich, Switzerland
JAMA Dermatol. 2017;153(3):350-352. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.4775

Pain is a frequently reported symptom in keratinocyte cancer.1,2 In particular, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is associated with spontaneous pain or pain evoked by touching the lesion. The association of pain with SCC has been reported in the general population as well as in organ transplant recipients (OTRs).1,3,4 The recent SCOPE ITSCC PAIN study3 reported that pain as a symptom predicts a histological diagnosis of SCC in the high-risk group of OTRs in 75% of biopsy specimens. In addition, the presence of pain separated SCC well from other skin lesions, like basal cell carcinoma, seborrheic keratosis, SCC in situ (Bowen disease), and actinic keratosis.3 Thus, the aim of our study was to identify possible mediators of pain in SCC to elucidate potential mechanism of SCC-associated pain in OTRs.