Expert Rune Toftgard Formation of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) in the skin known as the most common cancer is possibly fastened by a process involved in active wound healing. Yes, an astonishing discovery put forth by the Karolinska Institutet claims that active wound healing process can increase risk for basal cell carcinoma in the skin. It supposedly elevates the number and size of the tumors.

In order to highlight the seeming link between the development of basal cell cancers and wound healing, researchers analyzed mice with the same genetic changes that occur in human tumors. It was pointed out that an active wound healing process may accelerate tumor size because of a general increase in cell proliferation occurring in relation to wound healing. The raise in the number of tumors was probably due to boosted recruitment of cells with potential to trigger tumor formation.

“We believe that exposure to UV radiation from the sun together with an active tissue regeneration process is a dangerous combination increasing the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma”, revealed Rune Toftgard, Professor at Karolinska Institutet and principal investigator.

During the research, ‘lineage tracing’ was employed to finding where and in which cells tumor formation started. Known as a technique to label a cell permanently, lineage tracing apparently empowers scientists to follow a cell and all of its daughter cells. This approach allegedly helped discover that stem cells of the hair follicle actively contribute to wound healing and such stem cells and/ or their daughter cells migrate out of the hair follicle to enhance wound repair. It is presumed that the wound healing process allows hair follicle stem cells and their daughter cells present in the non-follicular part of the skin (interfollicular epidermis) to attain ability of initiating tumor formation.

The research is published in the journal PNAS.