Keratinocyte cancer

Keratinocyte cancers, mainly basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), are the most commonly occurring cancers in Australia. While they are rarely fatal they can cause significant morbidity and are an immense burden on our health system. Keratinocyte cancers are also referred to as non-melanoma skin cancers.

In Australia, the number of skin cancer cases outnumbers the number of all other types of cancers combined. At least two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.

Research highlights

Research into keratinocyte cancer includes:


Qskin, conducted by researchers at the QIMR Medical Research Institute is the largest medical research study ever conducted in Queensland. Almost 44,000 Queenslanders are participating in the study. Importantly, the QSkin study will provide long-term information about the number of skin cancers in Queensland. By comparing the information from people with and without skin cancer, a better understanding of how skin cancers develop will be gained.

QSkin website

Further research focus on keratinocyte cancer includes:

  • HPV-Microbiome – Professor Ian Frazer (UQ)
    • AK-SCC tumour immunology – Dr James Wells (UQ)
    • EGFR targeting – Professor Fiona Simpson (UQ)
    • Photodamaged skin, BCC – Professor Kiarash Khosrotehrani (UQ)
    • AK-SCC clinical and microdiagnostics – Professor H. Peter Soyer (UQ)
    • Advanced SCC; PNI – Professor Ben Panizza (UQ)