University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Sarah T. Arron, MD, PhD

Sarah T. Arron, MD, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology; Associate Director of Dermatologic Surgery and Laser Center, Dermatology, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Cancer Genetics

Research Summary

My research focuses on the pathogenesis of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. As a Mohs Micrographic surgeon in the department of Dermatology, I lead the High Risk Skin Cancer Program, a practice devoted to the care of patients at risk for skin cancer due to solid organ transplant and other iatrogenic immunosuppression, HIV infection, and genetic conditions predisposing to cutaneous malignancy.

A primary research question for our group is whether human papillomavirus (HPV) is an etiologic agent in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in immunosuppressed patients and in the general population. Cutaneous SCC is the second most common type of skin cancer, with an estimated incidence of over 200,000 cases per year in the United States and a 65-fold increased risk in immunosuppressed organ transplant recipients over the general population. A related question is whether HPV carriage on the skin at baseline is a predictor for the development of SCC after solid organ transplant.

To address these questions, we must first be able to accurately and definitively identify HPV infection in the skin. Previous attempts to link cutaneous SCC with HPV infection have yielded contradictory results, primarily due to differences in viral detection techniques. Our laboratory is working to develop new technologies for the detection and genotyping of HPV. Over 90 fully sequenced human papillomaviruses and numerous fragment candidates have been identified. This creates a complex combination of sequence conservation and diversity within the family that has frustrated previous attempts at a unified genotyping strategy. Our group combines bioinformatics, microarray technology, and deep sequencing in order to overcome obstacles to accurate genotyping.

New techniques for HPV genotyping will also lend themselves to questions beyond the realm of dermatology. We have set up collaborations with groups in other departments at UCSF to implement our assays in studies on the role of HPV in the pathogenesis of head and neck SCC and anogenital SCC. We anticipate that this technology will lead to larger multidisciplinary studies on HPV in the future.

The second aspect of my research focuses on risk factors for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in organ transplant recipients. Through the UCSF Mechanisms of Skin Cancer Cohort, we are working to determine both phenotypic and genetic risk factors for the development of skin cancer in this high risk population. We are actively recruiting patients to our database and banking tissue for future studies.

The UCSF High Risk Skin Cancer Program is involved in a variety of collaborative translational research efforts. In addition, the program is structured to serve as an investigational site for pharmaceutical trials. As Director of this rapidly developing unit, I am committed to implementing research that improves the care of our patients.

Education

Harvard College, A.B., 06/96, Biology
Weill Medical College of Cornell University, M.D., 06/03,
The Rockefeller University, Ph.D., 06/02, Biomedical Sciences
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Intern, 06/04, Medicine- Transitional
University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Resident, 06/08, Dermatology
University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Fellow, 06/08, Molecular Medicine
University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Fellow, 06/07, Procedural Dermatology
University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Postdoctoral Fellow, 06/10, Viral Metagenomics
University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, M.A.S., 06/12, Clinical Research
 


Professional Experience

  • 2008-2009
    Assistant Clinical Professor, School of Medicine, Dermatology, UCSF
  • 2009-present
    Assistant Professor in Residence, School of Medicine, Dermatology, , UCSF
  • 2009-2014
    Assistant Professor in Residence, Dermatology, School of Medicine, UCSF
  • 2012-present
    Chief, Mohs Micrographic Surgery, Dermatology, San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center
  • 2013-present
    Director, Clinical Research Unit, Dermatology, UCSF
  • 2014-present
    Associate Professor, Dermatology, UCSF
  • 2014-present
    Associate Director of Dermatologic Surgery and Laser Center, Dermatology, UCSF

Honors & Awards

  • 2000
    Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Student Intern Award, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
  • 2001
    Lewis and Rachel Rudin Fellow, The Rockefeller University
  • 2005
    Resident Retreat for Future Academicians, Society for Investigative Dermatology
  • 2006
    Advocacy Training Program for Residents, Society for Investigative Dermatology
  • 2009
    Academic Dermatology Leadership Program, American Academy of Dermatology
  • 2013
    Teacher of the Year, UCSF Department of Dermatology
  • 2016
    Distinguished Service Award, American College of Mohs Surgery

Selected Publications

  1. Gao Y, Arron ST, Linos E, Polcari I, Mansh MD. Indoor Tanning, Sunless Tanning, and Sun-Protection Behaviors Among Sexual Minority Men. JAMA Dermatol. 2018 Apr 01; 154(4):477-479.
    View on PubMed
  2. Xu MJ, Lazar AA, Garsa AA, Arron ST, Ryan WR, El-Sayed IH, George JR, Algazi AP, Heaton CM, Ha PK, Yom SS. Major prognostic factors for recurrence and survival independent of the American Joint Committee on Cancer eighth edition staging system in patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma treated with multimodality therapy. Head Neck. 2018 Mar 10.
    View on PubMed
  3. Gao Y, Arron ST, Raymond AK. Exposed hardware in a patient with invasive keratinocyte carcinoma. JAAD Case Rep. 2018 Jan; 4(1):101-103.
    View on PubMed
  4. Lai K, Harwood CA, Purdie KJ, Proby CM, Leigh IM, Ravi N, Mully TW, Brooks L, Sandoval PM, Rosenblum MD, Arron ST. Genomic analysis of atypical fibroxanthoma. PLoS One. 2017; 12(11):e0188272.
    View on PubMed
  5. Yuan JT, Chang TW, Yu SS, Arron ST. Mental Artery Occlusion From Poly-L-Lactic Acid Injection at the Lateral Chin. Dermatol Surg. 2017 11; 43(11):1402-1405.
    View on PubMed
  6. Gao Y, Wei EK, Arron ST, Linos E, Margolis DJ, Mansh MD. Acne, sexual orientation, and mental health among young adults in the United States: A population-based, cross-sectional study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 11; 77(5):971-973.
    View on PubMed
  7. Harwood CA, Arron ST, Proby CM, Asgari MM, Bouwes Bavinck JN, Green AC, Toland AE. Organ transplantation and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma: progress, pitfalls and priorities in immunosuppression-associated keratinocyte carcinoma. Br J Dermatol. 2017 Nov; 177(5):1150-1151.
    View on PubMed
  8. Blomberg M, He SY, Harwood C, Arron ST, Demehri S, Green A, Asgari MM. Research gaps in the management and prevention of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in organ transplant recipients. Br J Dermatol. 2017 Nov; 177(5):1225-1233.
    View on PubMed
  9. Garrett GL, Yuan JT, Shin TM, Arron ST. Validity of skin cancer malignancy reporting to the Organ Procurement Transplant Network: A cohort study. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 Feb; 78(2):264-269.
    View on PubMed
  10. Lowenstein SE, Garrett G, Toland AE, Jambusaria-Pahlajani A, Asgari MM, Green A, Engels EA, Arron ST. Risk prediction tools for keratinocyte carcinoma after solid organ transplantation: a review of the literature. Br J Dermatol. 2017 Nov; 177(5):1202-1207.
    View on PubMed
  11. Wei L, Allain DC, Bernhardt MN, Gillespie JL, Peters SB, Iwenofu OH, Nelson HH, Arron ST, Toland AE. Variants at the OCA2/HERC2 locus affect time to first cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in solid organ transplant recipients collected using two different study designs. Br J Dermatol. 2017 Oct; 177(4):1066-1073.
    View on PubMed
  12. Yuan JT, Tello TL, Hultman C, Barker CA, Arron ST, Yom SS. Medical marijuana for the treatment of vismodegib-related muscle spasm. JAAD Case Rep. 2017 Sep; 3(5):438-440.
    View on PubMed
  13. Bhutani T, Abrouk M, Sima CS, Sadetsky N, Hou J, Caro I, Chren MM, Arron ST. Risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma after treatment of basal cell carcinoma with vismodegib. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Oct; 77(4):713-718.
    View on PubMed
  14. Charruyer A, Fong S, Vitcov GG, Sklar S, Tabernik L, Taneja M, Caputo M, Soeung C, Yue L, Uchida Y, Arron ST, Horton KM, Foster RD, Sano S, North JP, Ghadially R. Brief Report: Interleukin-17A-Dependent Asymmetric Stem Cell Divisions Are Increased in Human Psoriasis: A Mechanism Underlying Benign Hyperproliferation. Stem Cells. 2017 Aug; 35(8):2001-2007.
    View on PubMed
  15. Ahn RS, Taravati K, Lai K, Lee KM, Nititham J, Gupta R, Chang DS, Arron ST, Rosenblum M, Liao W. Transcriptional landscape of epithelial and immune cell populations revealed through FACS-seq of healthy human skin. Sci Rep. 2017 05 02; 7(1):1343.
    View on PubMed
  16. Yanik EL, Pfeiffer RM, Freedman DM, Weinstock MA, Cahoon EK, Arron ST, Chaloux M, Connolly MK, Nagarajan P, Engels EA. Spectrum of Immune-Related Conditions Associated with Risk of Keratinocyte Cancers among Elderly Adults in the United States. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2017 Jul; 26(7):998-1007.
    View on PubMed
  17. Hibler BP, Saylor DK, Chin-Hong P, Arron ST. Antimicrobial Prophylaxis for Full-Face Laser Resurfacing in Transplant Recipients. Dermatol Surg. 2017 04; 43(4):599-604.
    View on PubMed
  18. Stuart SE, Schoen P, Jin C, Parvataneni R, Arron S, Linos E, Boscardin WJ, Chren MM. Tumor recurrence of keratinocyte carcinomas judged appropriate for Mohs micrographic surgery using Appropriate Use Criteria. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Jun; 76(6):1131-1138.e1.
    View on PubMed
  19. Dizon MP, Linos E, Arron ST, Hills NK, Chren MM. Comparing the Quality of Ambulatory Surgical Care for Skin Cancer in a Veterans Affairs Clinic and a Fee-For-Service Practice Using Clinical and Patient-Reported Measures. PLoS One. 2017; 12(1):e0171253.
    View on PubMed
  20. Mansh M, Ing L, Dimon M, Celli A, Mauro TM, Arron ST. Voriconazole exposure regulates distinct cell-cycle and terminal differentiation pathways in primary human keratinocytes. Br J Dermatol. 2017 03; 176(3):816-820.
    View on PubMed

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