Non-Melanoma Skin Cancers Coverage from Every Angle

Case Series on Sternectomy for Late-Stage Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2019

According to research published in the Journal of Skin Cancer, sternectomy may be a viable treatment option for some patients with late-stage, locally advanced non-melanoma skin cancer. The retrospective case study series focused on patients who underwent this surgical treatment at the Haroldo Juaçaba Hospital in Brazil.

“Sternectomy as a treatment of skin tumors is a dramatic event in the evolution of this disease in its later stage, implying high morbidity for their treatment,” concluded Marcia Ribeiro Studart da Fonseca, MD, of the Ceará Cancer Institute in Brazil, and colleagues. “However, despite the complexity and morbidity associated with sternectomy, it remains a treatment option with curative purposes for locally advanced skin cancer, improving the prognosis and overall survival of these patients.”

The case studies included seven patients who were treated with sternectomy for non-melanoma skin cancer between 2008 and 2018. Prior to surgery, each patient underwent computed tomography of the neck and thorax. Each patient was evaluated for tumor recurrence every 3 months for the first 2 years after surgery, then every 6 months for the third through fifth months, then annually thereafter. No patients received neoadjuvant therapy.

Of the seven patients studied, five had squamous cell carcinoma, and two had basal cell carcinoma. A total of six patients underwent extended sternectomy, and one patient underwent total sternectomy 4 years after the initial surgery. Average overall survival was 50 months. At the conclusion of the study, one death had occurred, and five of the remaining six patients were free of disease.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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