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Tumor site immune markers associated with risk for subsequent basal cell carcinomas.

  • Author(s): Glaser, Ronald;
  • Andridge, Rebecca;
  • Yang, Eric V;
  • Shana'ah, Arwa Y;
  • Di Gregorio, Michael;
  • Chen, Min;
  • Johnson, Sheri L;
  • De Renne, Lawrence A;
  • Lambert, David R;
  • Jewell, Scott D;
  • Bechtel, Mark A;
  • Hearne, Dean W;
  • Herron, Joel Bain;
  • Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K
  • et al.


Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) tumors are the most common skin cancer and are highly immunogenic.


The goal of this study was to assess how immune-cell related gene expression in an initial BCC tumor biopsy was related to the appearance of subsequent BCC tumors.

Materials and methods

Levels of mRNA for CD3ε (a T-cell receptor marker), CD25 (the alpha chain of the interleukin (IL)-2 receptor expressed on activated T-cells and B-cells), CD68 (a marker for monocytes/macrophages), the cell surface glycoprotein intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), the cytokine interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 were measured in BCC tumor biopsies from 138 patients using real-time PCR.


The median follow-up was 26.6 months, and 61% of subjects were free of new BCCs two years post-initial biopsy. Patients with low CD3ε CD25, CD68, and ICAM-1 mRNA levels had significantly shorter times before new tumors were detected (p = 0.03, p = 0.02, p = 0.003, and p = 0.08, respectively). Furthermore, older age diminished the association of mRNA levels with the appearance of subsequent tumors.


Our results show that levels of CD3ε, CD25, CD68, and ICAM-1 mRNA in BCC biopsies may predict risk for new BCC tumors.

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