Background: Variants at the oculocutaneous albinism 2 (OCA2)/HECT and RLD domain containing E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 2 (HERC2) locus have been associated with pigmentation phenotypes and risk of developing several types of skin cancer. Objectives: To evaluate OCA2/HERC2 locus variants for their impact on time to develop cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) in organ transplant recipients (OTRs) who are at elevated risk of developing cSCC. Methods: Participants were solid OTRs ascertained from two centres (n = 125 and 261) with an average of 13·1 years of follow-up post-transplant. DNA was available for genotyping for all participants, in addition to medical records and questionnaire data. The Ohio State University study had a case–control design with prospective follow-up, and the University of California San Francisco study was a national cross-sectional survey with retrospective chart review. Results: OCA2 variants rs12913832 and rs916977 were significantly associated with time to first cSCC post-transplant. OTRs homozygous for the brown-eye alleles of rs916977 (GG) and rs12913832 (AA) had significant delays of time to first cSCC post-transplant compared with individuals homozygous for the blue-eye alleles (hazard ratio 0·34, P < 0·001 and hazard ratio 0·54, P = 0·012, respectively). Both variants were highly associated with eye colour in the combined studies (P < 0·001). Conclusions: This study is the first to show an association between OCA2/HERC2 variants and time to first cSCC post-transplant. This may impact dermatological screening recommendations for high-risk populations.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (R03 CA173788, P30 CA016058), the American Cancer Society (RSG-07-083-01-MGO) and the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. The funders had no role in this study.