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Skin Cancer in the Realm of Inflammatory Dermatoses


Darrell Rigel, MD, discusses his SDPA Annual Summer Dermatology Conference, "Inflammatory Dermatoses: A Case-Based Review," particularly highlighting the relationship between skin cancer and the inflammatory disease realm.

Alongside Mark Lebwohl, MD, presenter Darrell Rigel, MD, presented his session, "Inflammatory Dermatoses: A Case-Based Review," at the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants (SDPA) Annual Summer Dermatology Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, Thursday afternoon. Rigel sat down with Dermatology Times® to discuss the key highlights of the session.

Darrell Rigel, MD: I'm Darrell Rigel, clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai in New York, also an adjunct clinical professor of dermatology at UT Southwestern, and a dermatology consultant at Cooper Clinic in Dallas.

Dermatology Times: What are key highlights and takeaways from your session, "Inflammatory Dermatoses: A Case-Based Review?"

Rigel: Skin cancer continues to be an increasingly important problem in the US and UK, clearly always an important problem, and dermatology rates continue to rise. And we always think of skin cancer as really being an oncology problem. But there is a major inflammatory component to skin cancer both in the treatment as well as just the evolution.

We look at nonmelanoma skin cancer for example—we know that there are drugs that induce interferon, other cytokines, to treat skin cancer, so we can treat it with that. All of us have had the opportunity to excise a basal cell and find out that the margins were positive, and we go back and guess what? It's all gone. Why is it gone? Because the body's inflammatory response wiped out the rest of that basal cell.

The new treatments for melanomas basically induce inflammatory responses, and even some of the side effects we see, granulomatous disease, lichen planus, vitiligo, are all due to the inflammatory response, overcorrecting with the melanoma treatment.

So we're seeing more and more of these things, and I hope the people who were at the session and those of you who weren't, are thinking about this. Start thinking about skin cancer, beyond oncology, but even in the inflammatory realm.

[Transcript edited for clarity]

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