Recurrent basal cell carcinoma of the back infiltrating the spine: Recurrent basal cell carcinoma

P. Morselli, A. Tosti, L. Guerra, P. A. Fanti, F. Fedeli, T. Pistorale, C. Cavina, C. Varotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND. Risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) recurrence appears to be related to tumor location, tumor size, treatment modality, radicalness of excision, and histologic type. Recurrences of BCC on the trunk and extremities are rate, with 97% of all recurrent lesions being located in the head and neck region. OBJECTIVE. This report concerns a man who had a BCC of the back removed with electrodesiccation and curettage in 1980 at the age of 36. In the following 10 years the patient experienced five recurrences and finally developed infiltration of the thoracic spine that precluded further attempts at radical excision of the neoplasm. METHODS AND RESULTS. The pathology of the BCC in our patient revealed a number of histologic features that have been associated with aggressive behaviour. These include an infiltrative growth pattern characterized by an irregular and acute tapered profile of the tumor cell groups and fibroblast-rich stroma, infiltrating invading tumour edges, poorly peripheral palisading, nuclear pleomorphism, and perineural invasion. CONCLUSION. Basal cell carcinomas that occur in sunlight-protected areas of the trunk of middle-aged individuals can occasionally exhibit aggressive and highly invasive features as well as a marked tendency for local uncontrollable recurrences. The prognosis for patients with this variety of BCC is poor, especially when progressive infiltration of deep tissues does not permit, as in our case, any possible further radical surgical procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)917-922
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Oncology


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