Psoriasis Treatment May Cause Skin Ca

Psoriasis Treatment Linked to Cancer

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A popular treatment for a skin disease may actually cause skin cancer, according to new research.

Psoriasis affects more than 4.5 million adults in the United States. Itís a skin disease related to the immune system.

Psoriasis is often treated with a combination of the drug psoralen and ultraviolet light therapy. The new study suggests patients treated with PUVA have an increased prevalence of human papilloma virus in their skin. HPV is linked to skin cancer.

Treatment with PUVA has been linked to an increased risk of skin cancer, but the exact cause of the increase is not well understood. Researchers from Austria analyzed whether the presence of HPV in the skin is increased after long-term PUVA treatment.

Researchers screened for HPV DNA in body hairs from patients with psoriasis. They analyzed hairs from patients in three categories -- those who had a history of PUVA treatment and a history of skin cancer, a history of PUVA and no history of skin cancer, and no PUVA exposure or history of cancer.

Study authors found HPV DNA in 73 percent of the patients who had PUVA and skin cancer, 69 percent of patients who had PUVA and no skin cancer, and in 36 percent of patients with no PUVA or skin cancer.

Researchers conclude the prevalence of HPV in the skin is increased in psoriasis patients who have a history of PUVA treatment.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week.

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March 2004

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