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Finnish Researchers Find Unexpected Features of Recurrent and Metastatic Skin Cancers

By: Celeste L. Dixon
Posted: Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Finnish researchers found recurrences and metastases of cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas, even in the case of thin tumors. In an article published in Acta Dermato-Venereologica, Niina Korhonen, MD, PhD, of Tampere University, Finland, and colleagues explained that close monitoring of high-risk cases is warranted during the first years after diagnosis of such skin cancers.

The study’s cohort was composed of 774 patients with 1,131 cutaneous squamous cell tumors. Of these tumors, 48 proved to be metastatic, and 25 had a local recurrence. Of note, the authors found that three of the metastatic tumors and eight of the recurrent tumors “had an invasion depth of ≤ 2 mm,” which is usually assessed as a lower-risk feature. Among the most prominent high-risk prognostic factors for this type of skin cancer are “tumor location on the ear, lip, or areas of long-lasting inflammation; tumor diameter > 2 cm; histologic depth of > 6 mm; and moderately or poorly differentiated grade,” the study authors noted.

Patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas should undergo individualized risk assessment, suggested Dr. Korhonen and co-investigators with close monitoring in high-risk cases in the first years after diagnosis. In the case of their study, 58% of the metastases “were found within 3 months of the diagnosis of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.” In other previous studies, 73% and 100% of metastases occurred within 1 or 2 years after resection, respectively, they added.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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