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Approved research

Mutations and genetic variants associated with trichilemmal (pilar) cysts

Principal Investigator: Professor Michael Kolodney
Approved Research ID: 46649
Approval date: March 26th 2019

Lay summary

Trichilemmal cysts, also known as pilar cysts, are second most common cyst of the skin. These lesions occur in about 5% of persons of European or South Asian ancestry and their removal is a common cutaneous surgical procedure. A trichilemmal cyst can rarely transform into cancer. These cysts are inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern but can also appear sporadically. Our laboratory has identified the mutation in a cancer suppressor gene that causes these cysts in most people. However, we want to discover the cause of these cysts in the small fraction of people who have trichilemmal cysts but lack this mutation. We also want to determine why some people with the inherited mutation do not develop cysts and if inherited mutations causing cysts much also increase risk for cancer.