Human basal cell carcinoma is associated with Foxp3+ T cells in a Th2 dominant microenvironment

Helen G. Kaporis, Emma Guttman-Yassky, Michelle A. Lowes, Asifa S. Haider, Judilyn Fuentes-Duculan, Kamruz Darabi, Julia Whynot-Ertelt, Artemis Khatcherian, Irma Cardinale, Inna Novitskaya, James G. Krueger, John A. Carucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most common human cancer, undergoes spontaneous regression in certain circumstances, which is potentially immune-mediated. To understand the immune response surrounding BCCs, we characterized the genomic, protein, and cellular microenvironment associated with BCC in comparison to normal skin. Our results demonstrated the following: (1) CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ surround epithelial tumor aggregates; (2) Immature dendritic cells (DCs) were abundant in the tumor microenvironment; (3) BCC showed increased expression of IL-4, IL-10, and CCL22 and increased expression of interferon-associated genes (IFI27, IRF1, IRF7, and G1P2) and IL-12/23, gene indicating a Th2 dominant microenvironment. Our findings suggest a dynamic state within the immune microenvironment associated with BCC. The finding of phenotypic T regs, in conjunction with immature DCs and Th2 cytokines, suggests an attenuated state of immunity to human BCC. In contrast, abundant CD8+ T cells, an interferon signal, and IL-12/23 suggest partial host antitumor response. A better understanding of these opposing forces within the immune microenvironment may facilitate development of more potent immune-based treatment for BCC and other human carcinomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2391-2398
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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