Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy in the United States and worldwide. While melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, non-melanoma skin cancers, which include basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are responsible for significant morbidity in millions of Americans each year. While numerous attempts have been made to reduce skin cancer risk factors related to ultraviolet radiation exposure, skin cancer incidence continues to rise. Improved understanding of the molecular pathways underlying skin cancer pathogenesis has led to the investigation of new approaches to skin cancer prevention. In particular, the search for ultraviolet radiation associated biomarkers of skin cancer has become a rapidly expanding and promising area of research. Advances in genetic sequencing have facilitated the discovery of novel biomarkers, which have the potential to profoundly improve patient care. Here we will review the molecular genetics of skin cancer and analyze the existing literature of proposed biomarkers for potential use in skin cancer diagnosis and prevention.
Part of the book: Human Skin Cancers