Background: Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which has one of the highest incidences of all cancers in the United States, is an age-dependent disease, with the majority of these cancers diagnosed in people age 70 and older. Recent findings have led to a new hypothesis on the pathogenesis of SCC. Objectives: To evaluate the potential of preventive therapies to reduce the incidence of SCC in at-risk geriatric patients. Materials and Methods: Survey of current literature on wounding therapies to prevent SCCs. Results: This new hypothesis of SCC photocarcinogenesis states that senescent fibroblasts accumulate in the dermis, resulting in a reduction in dermal insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) expression. This lack of IGF-1 expression sensitizes epidermal keratinocytes to fail to suppress ultraviolet light B (UVB)-induced mutations, leading to increased proclivity to photocarcinogenesis. Recent evidence suggests that dermal wounding therapies, specifically dermabrasion and fractionated laser resurfacing, can decrease the proportion of senescent dermal fibroblasts, increase dermal IGF-1 expression, and correct the inappropriate UVB response found in geriatric skin, protecting geriatric keratinocytes from UVB-induced SCC initiation. Conclusions: In this review, we will discuss the translation of pioneering basic science results implicating commonly used dermal fibroblast rejuvenation procedures as preventative treatments for SCC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas