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Viral oncogenesis and its role in nonmelanoma skin cancer


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  • Conflicts of interest
    None declared.

  • S.T.A. and L.J. contributed equally to this work.

Gillian M. Murphy.


In recent years, the contribution of viruses to cutaneous oncogenesis has steadily gained recognition. The archetype is human herpesvirus 8, which is well established as the causative agent in Kaposi sarcoma. Other viruses believed to play a role in nonmelanoma skin cancer include human papillomavirus and the recently described Merkel cell polyomavirus. We review the mechanisms by which these three viruses interact with the host cell, ultraviolet radiation and immunosuppression to result in carcinogenesis.