What we investigate

Our group is investigating the microenvironment of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC). We are especially interested in the role of immunosuppression in the development of cSCC.

squamous cell carcinoma, microenvironment, lichen planus, autoimmune bullous skin disease

Our research in more detail

With over 700,000 new cases per year in the United States, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is the second most common skin cancer, with up to 8,000 deaths annually. It is known that cSCC is influenced by the patient's immune status, with the risk of cSCC increasing more than 50-fold in immunocompromised individuals, in whom it is the most common type of cancer.

It is believed that changes in the microenvironment of premalignant lesions are required to allow the transition to invasive and metastatic cSCC. The tumor microenvironment, collectively referred to as cancer-associated stroma (CAS), is a heterogeneous mix of immune-infiltrating cells, cancer-associated fibroblasts, extracellular matrix, and neovascularization. Many studies have focused on the role of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, while recent research has shown a critical role for the other CAS components in tumor cell initiation, progression, and resistance to therapy. A comprehensive study of the characteristics of cSCC stroma in immunocompromised patients has not been conducted.

With an established procedure for isolating CAS and matched normal stroma from embedded formalin-fixed paraffin biopsies using laser capture microdissection followed by next-generation RNA sequencing (NGS), we plan a comprehensive analysis of the stroma of cSCC of immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients to identify changes in CAS with a direct clinical correlation. Our analyzes allow the definition of a “molecular landscape” of CAS-specific gene expression in cSCC and a better understanding of the factors influencing cSCC progression and field cancer formation, as well as the role of immunosuppression in cSCC development.

Prof. Laurence Feldmeyer

Prof. Laurence Feldmeyer
Head of Dermatopathology
Bern University Hospital / University of Bern
Department of Dermatology
Freiburgstrasse 34
3008 Bern

Email   Website

Selected publications

SKINTEGRITY.CH Principal Investigators are in bold:

  • Beebe E, Motamed Z, Opitz L, Cheng PF, Levesque MP, Markkanen E and Feldmeyer L (2022). Defining the molecular landscape of cancer-associated stroma in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. J Invest Dermatol, 142(12), pp. 3304-3312.
  • Imstepf V, Cazzaniga S, Beltraminelli H, Borradori L and Feldmeyer L (2021). Brunsting-Perry pemphigoid: A retrospective case series of a frequently unrecognized condition. J Am Acad Dermatol, 85(5), pp. 1324-1326.
  • Feldmeyer L, Suter VG, Oeschger C, Cazzaniga S, Bornstein MM, Simon D, Borradori L and Beltraminelli H (2020). Oral lichen planus and oral lichenoid lesions - an analysis of clinical and histopathological features. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 34(2), pp. e104-e107.
  • Seyed Jafari SM, Gadaldi K, Feldmeyer L, Yawalkar N, Borradori L and Schlapbach C (2019). Effects of omalizumab on FcεRI and IgE expression in lesional skin of bullous pemphigoid. Front Immunol, 10, p. 1919.
  • Benzaquen M, Borradori L, Berbis P, Cazzaniga S, Valero R, Richard MA and Feldmeyer L (2018). Dipeptidyl peptidase IV inhibitors, a risk factor for bullous pemphigoid: Retrospective multicenter case-control study from France and Switzerland. J Am Acad Dermatol, 78(6), pp. 1090-1096.