Viruses May Lead to Skin Disease, Cancer

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Over the last several years, the understanding of various cancers and their etiologies has gone viral. Literally. Viruses may lead to skin disease, cancerAdvances in genetics research resulted in discovery of 11 new human polyomaviruses over the past eight years, including those causing Merkel cell carcinoma, trichodysplasia spinulosum, HPyV7-related hyperplasia/dyskeratosis, necrotic skin lesions and other skin diseases.

In his plenary session at the 23rd World Congress of Dermatology in Vancouver, June 2015, Patrick Moore, M.D., M.P.H., discussed lessons researchers have learned from studying Kaposi’s sarcoma and Merkel cell Carcinoma. He is distinguished professor, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Genetics, University of Pittsburgh; director, Cancer Virology Program, Hillman Comprehensive Cancer Institute.

Dr. Moore, who together with Yuan Chang, discovered two of the seven known human cancer viruses: Kaposi’s sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV8) and Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV), notes that researchers are only beginning to understand the range of viruses resident in skin that may be the cause of long-established idiopathic (and perhaps common) dermatologic disorders. New technologies, such as genomic sequencing, have helped illuminate hundreds of new viruses. It’s believed that viruses cause 15-20% of all cancer cases worldwide; as researchers uncover the connections between viruses and malignancies, the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of skin cancers caused by viruses are rapidly changing.

Moore’s Research Lab studies Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), the viral cause of Kaposi’s sarcoma; Merkel cell  polyomavirus (MCV), the viral cause of Merkel cell carcinoma; and methods to search for undiscovered human tumor viruses.
Read more at Dermatology Times.