Do Langerhans cells play a role in vulvar epithelium resistance to squamous cell carcinoma?
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Introduction: Langerhans cells (LCs) are a very important part of the skin immune system. Materials and Methods: Skin biopsies taken from 13 women after the removal of vulvar squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) who had not been treated earlier for any vulvar diseases were investigated. The control group consisted of 12 women who underwent a plastic surgical operation of the vulva region. Immunohistochemical staining was performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues samples using antihuman CD1a antibody (NCL-CD1a-235, Novocastra). Results: This study showed a large decrease in LCs in vulvar SCC. Conclusions: It is postulated that the reduction in the number of LCs may be one of the reasons for a higher tendency of carcinogenesis in the vulvar region. Their role as a main element of the skin immune system in the initiation of this process needs further investigation. It is possible that research on LCs in the skin will cast a new light on their role and even contribute to the prophylaxis and treatment of skin and mucosa carcinomas.
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Helena Rotsztejn, Section of Dermatology, Research Institute of the Polish Mother?s Memorial Hospital, Rzgowska 281/284, 93-338 Lodz, Poland