Basal cell carcinoma: From pathophysiology to novel therapeutic approaches

Luca Fania, Dario Didona, Roberto Morese, Irene Campana, Valeria Coco, Francesca Romana Di Pietro, Francesca Ricci, Sabatino Pallotta, Eleonora Candi, Damiano Abeni, Elena Dellambra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common human cancer worldwide, and is a subtype of nonmelanoma skin cancer, characterized by a constantly increasing incidence due to an aging population and widespread sun exposure. Although the mortality from BCC is negligible, this tumor can be associated with significant morbidity and cost. This review presents a literature overview of BCC from pathophysiology to novel therapeutic approaches. Several histopathological BCC subtypes with different prognostic values have been described. Dermoscopy and, more recently, reflectance confocal microscopy have largely improved BCC diagnosis. Although surgery is the first-line treatment for localized BCC, other nonsurgical local treatment options are available. BCC pathogenesis depends on the interaction between environmental and genetic characteristics of the patient. Specifically, an aberrant activation of Hedgehog signaling pathway is implicated in its pathogenesis. Notably, Hedgehog signaling inhibitors, such as vismodegib and sonidegib, are successfully used as targeted treatment for advanced or metastatic BCC. Furthermore, the implementation of prevention measures has demonstrated to be useful in the patient management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number449
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


  • Basal cell carcinoma
  • Dermoscopy
  • Hedgehog
  • Keratinocyte carcinoma
  • Nonmelanoma skin cancer
  • PTCH1
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Basal cell carcinoma: From pathophysiology to novel therapeutic approaches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this