The incidence of squamous cell eye cancer is greater among kidney transplant patients and people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) than the general public, which suggests the disease is associated with immune deficiency.
Claire Vajdic, Ph.D., of the University of New South Wales in Sydney and colleagues compared the incidence of squamous cell eye cancer in the general population with that of kidney transplant patients, who have suppressed immune systems.
Of the 10,180 patients in the study, five were diagnosed with this eye cancer; less than one case was expected. Residence in the subtropical state of Queensland and prior history of squamous cell skin cancer were associated with higher risk of squamous cell eye cancer.
"The carcinogenic mechanism is not known, but the available evidence suggests an effect of solar ultraviolet radiation and possibly HPV infection," the authors write.