The high-risk benign tumor: evidence from the two-stage skin cancer model and relevance for human cancer

Mol Carcinog. 2007 Aug;46(8):605-10. doi: 10.1002/mc.20345.


Benign tumors that form following chemical initiation and promotion in the mouse skin can be grouped into two classes. The majority of papillomas do not progress to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and these are designated as low-risk or terminally benign papillomas. In contrast, a much smaller group forms the true precursor to the SCC, and these have a significantly higher frequency and rate of malignant conversion than the bulk of low-risk papillomas. In standard two-stage carcinogenesis studies both tumor types are present, but grossly indistinguishable. Here we describe properties and potential origins of high-risk papillomas and discuss the relevance of this model for certain human cancers with defined premalignant states.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / etiology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Papilloma / etiology*
  • Papilloma / pathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology