Advances in Understanding of Penile Carcinogenesis: The Search for Actionable Targets

Penile cancer (PeCa) is a rare malignancy with potentially devastating effects. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common variant with distinct precancerous lesions before development into invasive disease. Involvement of the inguinal lymph nodes is the most important prognostic factor in PeCa, and once disease is present outside the groin, prognosis is poor. Metastatic PeCa is challenging to treat and often requires multidisciplinary approaches in management. Due to its rarity, molecular understanding of the disease continues to be limited with most studies based on small, single center series. Thus far, it appears PeCa has diverse mechanisms of carcinogenesis affecting similar molecular pathways. In this review, we evaluate the current landscape of the molecular carcinogenesis of PeCa and explore ongoing research on potential actionable targets of therapy. The emergence of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and other immunotherapeutic strategies may improve outcomes for PeCa patients.

International journal of molecular sciences. 2017 Aug 16*** epublish ***

Juan Chipollini, Sharon Chaing, Mounsif Azizi, Laura C Kidd, Patricia Kim, Philippe E Spiess

Department of Genitourinary Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. ., Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. ., Department of Genitourinary Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. ., Department of Urology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA. ., Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN 46556, USA. ., Department of Genitourinary Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL 33612, USA. .

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