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N Engl J Med. 1984 May 3;310(18):1156-61.

Cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma in patients treated with PUVA.


A 5.7-year prospective study of 1380 patients treated for psoriasis with oral methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen) and ultraviolet A photochemotherapy (PUVA) revealed that after adjustment for exposures to ionizing radiation and topical tar preparations, the risk that cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma would develop at least 22 months after the first exposure to PUVA was 12.8 times higher in patients exposed to a high dose than in those exposed to a low dose (95 per cent confidence interval, 5.8 to 28.5). No substantial dose-related increase was noted for basal-cell carcinoma. The dose-dependent risk of cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma suggests that PUVA can act as an independent carcinogen. In our study, morbidity associated with these tumors has been limited, but further follow-up is needed. Meanwhile, patients treated with PUVA should be followed closely for the possible development of cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma.

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