Gorlin Syndrome

Gorlin syndrome is a rare genetic condition with a significantly increased risk of basal cell carcinomas. The condition is caused by aberrant activation of the hedgehog signaling pathway. The same signaling pathway is activated in spontaneously arising basal cell carcinomas in the general population.

The incidence of Gorlin's syndrome in Norway is unknown, and there is a lack of knowledge about genetics, disease expression and treatment. We have established an interdisciplinary research project based on data on genotype, phenotype and follow-up in the consent-based quality and research register Dermareg. In collaboration with the Center for Rare Diagnoses, mental health and quality of life are surveyed. In a clinical study, clinical-dermatoscopic correlation of small basal cell carcinomas is investigated with the aim of more precise treatment.

PhD Project: Karianne Haga Brandtzæg. Main Supervisor: Kristin Halvorsen Hortemo 

Mohs surgery 

Mohs surgery is the preferred treatment for infiltrating basal cell carcinoma of the face. The method involves sequential surgery with peroperative histological margin assessment. This allows definitive excision of the tumor with minimal loss of normal surrounding tissue.

Per- and postoperative data from Mohs surgery at Oslo University Hospital are registered in the consent-based quality and research register Dermareg. An associated biobank is established with tissue samples from Mohs surgery for proteomic, genomic and histological analyses.

Project leader: Kristin Halvorsen Hortemo

Skin cancer in organ transplant recipients

The high risk of skin cancer after organ transplantation is a major clinical challenge. Taking advantage of a high-quality national cancer registry, we have studied long-term changes in the risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma after organ transplantation in Norway.

PhD project: Syed Mohammad Husain Rizvi. Main supervisor: Petter Gjersvik.

High mortality of cutaneous melanoma in Norway: A population-based study of prognostic factors

The mortality rate for cutaneous melanoma (CM) in Norway is the highest in Europe, higher than in countries with comparable incidence rates. The Norwegian Malignant Melanoma Registry (NMMR), established in 2008, enables study of prognostic factors of CM death. Using population-based data from NMMR and the national Cause of Death Registry, we aimed to study sex, age, residency, tumor location and histopathological characteristics of the primary tumor for all CM cases in Norway, and the associations between these factors and CM specific death.  Knowledge from this study could help targeting secondary preventive measures towards the Norwegian population. 

Project leader: Syed Mohammad Husain Rizvi. Others: Per Helsing. Collaborators: Norwegian Cancer Registry.

Validation of staging systems for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma: a population-based, nested case-control study

In this study, we aim to determine the rate of metastasis in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) in Norway, by using high-quality population-based data.  Also, we aim to assess the impact of reported risk factors for metastasis and to externally validate three existing current cSCC staging systems for their reproducibility and practicality.

Project leader: Ingrid Roscher. Others: Petter Gjersvik, Per Helsing. Collaborators: Department of Pathology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway; Cancer Registry of Norway; Oslo Centre for biostatistics and epidemiology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway

Cost-benefit of a ban on sun-beds

A project to look at the costs of melanoma treatment in Norway and benefits from various measures to reduce the occurrence of melanomas. One measure is to reduce sun-bed use, other measures are more active and conscious use of shadow and sunscreen on travels to sunny areas. We will look at both saved costs and saved lives, in addition to looking at people's assessment of welfare loss associated with getting or having skin cancer

Project collaborators: Lill Tove Nilsen and Merete Hannevik (The Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency), Trude Robsahm,(Cancer Registry), Marit B. Veierød, (University of Oslo), Ingrid Roscher (Department of Dermatology,  Oslo University Hospital), Ståle Navrud, (Norwegian School of Economics at Norwegian University of Life Sciences).

Metastatic rates for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in organ transplant recipients and background population in Norway 1968-2016.

Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) may be metastatic, and some reports indicate that cSCC in organ transplant recipients (OTRs) may have a more aggressive course and a higher risk of metastasis than cSCC in immunocompetent patients.  Studies on the metastatic rate in cSCC, however, are limited, both among OTRs and in general populations, and the results somewhat contradictory. Using data from the national cancer registry from 1968 through 2016, we will study the rate of metastasis from cSCC in OTRs and in the background population of Norway.

Project participants: Petter Gjersvik, Ingrid Roscher, Mohammad Rizvi.  Collaborators: Cancer Registry of Norway. 

Occupational skin cancer

Leader: Jose Hernán Alfonso

Participants: Kristina Kjærheim, Jo Stenehjem,  Bendik Brinchmann, Prof. Swen Malte John, Alberto Modenese

Institutions: Dep. of Dermatology, Oslo University Hospital (OUS); The National Institute of Occupational Health, Norway; International Commission on Occupational Health & The Cancer Registry of Norway.

This project aims to the associations between occupation and risk of keratinocytes and melanocytic skin and mucosal cancers for the purposes of the recognition of skin cancer as an occupational disease and effective primary and secondary prevention.

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