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Keratinocyte Cancer

Keratinocyte cancers, mainly basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), arise from keratin-producing skin cells. They are also referred to as non-melanoma skin cancers. While they are rarely fatal they can cause significant morbidity and place an immense burden on our health system.

The number of skin cancer cases in Australia outnumbers all other types of cancer combined. Keratinocyte cancers are the most commonly occurring, with over 350,000 cases requiring treatment each year. At least two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.

Keratinocyte cancer research involves a broad range of disciplines and includes QSkin, which is designed to provide long-term information about skin cancer in Queensland, and examination of the skin microbiome and its relevance to skin cancer.  This field of research also incorporates a diverse range of projects which focus on skin cancer tumour immunology, development of targeted treatment options, elucidating the pathways involved in skin cancer development and progression, and obtaining a complete and multifaceted understanding of SCCs and BCCs.

This comprehensive research scope provides a thorough approach for addressing the significant impact that keratinocyte cancers have on both patients and the wider community.

Stream Leader

Professor David Whiteman

Head, Cancer Control Laboratory Coordinator, Melanoma and Skin Cancer Research Centre
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute