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Teleoncology for Elderly Patient With Basal Cell Carcinoma: Case Study

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2021

A case study published in Dermatologic Therapy reported the potential benefit of distance medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic for some patients with advanced skin cancers. The study presented the case of an 80-year-old woman who underwent sonidegib treatment for locally advanced basal cell carcinomas in a telemedicine setting.

“Our case highlights that this quite vulnerable group of elderly patients may well adhere to teleoncologic services in the future after receiving precise instructions by the treating physician,” concluded Iris Zalaudek, MD, of the University of Trieste, Italy, and colleagues.

The patient presented with multiple ulcerated facial basal cell carcinomas of a maximum of 4 cm. A CT scan identified no metastases, and the patient began a treatment regimen of 200 mg of sonidegib daily. A COVID-19–related lockdown of the patient’s region in Italy was initiated 3 weeks later, and she transitioned to receiving regular follow-up care via phone calls and teleconsultation while continuing treatment as prescribed. Images of her lesions were taken via cell phone and submitted by e-mail to be analyzed for changes from baseline.

Between March 2020 and May 2020, the treatment was well tolerated, no side effects were reported, and the lesions had decreased in size, with some disappearing altogether. After 3 months of satisfactory treatment, the patient requested to begin receiving sonidegib every other day, and her request was approved.

Prior to this treatment, the patient had a family history of basal cell carcinoma and had previously undergone multiple surgical treatments for basal cell carcinoma on her face, scalp, and trunk. She had also been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, stable at the time of treatment, and hyperthyroidism. The patient had tested negative for Gorlin Goltz syndrome (an uncommon autosomal-dominant inherited disorder characterized by basal cell carcinomas as well as other skeletal, dental, ophthalmic, and neurologic abnormalities) despite exhibiting clinical and phenotypic markers of the condition.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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