Predictors of squamous cell carcinoma in high-risk patients in the VATTC trial

Michael Y. Xiong, Amilcar E. Rizzo, Tobias S D Cohen, Robert K. Dyer, Kaveri Korgavkar, Stephen F. Bingham, Martin A. Weinstock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Invasive squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin is one of the most common cancers in the United States, with no proven means for prevention other than systemic retinoids, which have significant toxicity, and sunscreen. We sought to determine the risk factors for invasive SCC on the face or ears in a high-risk population comprising 1,131 veterans in the Veterans Affairs Topical Tretinoin Chemoprevention (VATTC) Trial. Participants were required to have been diagnosed with at least two keratinocyte carcinomas (KCs) in the 5 years prior to enrollment. The median duration of follow-up was 3.7 years. Twenty-three percent of the participants developed a new invasive SCC, and the cumulative risk of invasive SCC was 30% at 5 years. The following factors independently predicted for new invasive SCCs: number of invasive SCCs and number of in situ SCCs in the 5 years prior to enrollment, actinic keratoses count at enrollment, a history of ever use of topical 5-fluorouracil, and total occupational time spent outdoors. In contrast, the use of angiotensin-convering enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers during the study and a history of warts anywhere on the body were found to protect against new invasive SCCs. These independent predictors remained the same for all SCCs (invasive and in situ combined). The number of basal cell carcinomas in the 5 years prior to enrollment, sunburns, sun sensitivity, and recreational sun exposure were not associated with new SCCs. These findings identify key risk factors for additional SCCs in patients with multiple prior KCs, and suggest that a history of warts may be associated with reduced SCC risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1521-1532
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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