Human malignancies arise predominantly in tissues of epithelial origin, where the stepwise transformation from healthy epithelium to premalignant dysplasia to invasive neoplasia involves sequential dysregulation of biological networks that govern essential functions of epithelial homeostasis. Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is a prototype epithelial malignancy, often with a high tumour mutational burden. A plethora of risk genes, dominated by UV-induced sun damage, drive disease progression in conjunction with stromal interactions and local immunomodulation, enabling continuous tumour growth. Recent studies have identified subpopulations of SCC cells that specifically interact with the tumour microenvironment. These advances, along with increased knowledge of the impact of germline genetics and somatic mutations on cSCC development, have led to a greater appreciation of the complexity of skin cancer pathogenesis and have enabled progress in neoadjuvant immunotherapy, which has improved pathological complete response rates. Although measures for the prevention and therapeutic management of cSCC are associated with clinical benefit, the prognosis remains poor for advanced disease. Elucidating how the genetic mechanisms that drive cSCC interact with the tumour microenvironment is a current focus in efforts to understand, prevent and treat cSCC.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41568-023-00583-5
View details for PubMedID 37286893
View details for PubMedCentralID 4833641