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Use of Systemic Therapy in the Management of Basal Cell Carcinoma

Article

Experts in dermatology discuss non-surgical treatment options for basal cell carcinoma.

Recent advances in systemic therapy for the management of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) were discussed in a recent Dermatology Times® Frontline Forum® custom video program titled “Expert Perspectives in the Management of basal cell carcinoma (BCC).”

This Frontline Forum series featured Justine Cohen, DO, and Brent Moody, MD, FACP, FAAD.

This Frontline Forum series featured Justine Cohen, DO, and Brent Moody, MD, FACP, FAAD.

Experts in dermatology discussed advances in the management of BCC using non-surgical methodologies and cases where systemic therapy may be preferential to surgery. Here are a few episodes you don’t want to miss.

Insights into Non-Surgical Approaches to Basal Cell Carcinoma

Brent Moody, MD, FACP, FAAD, Heritage Medical Associates, Nashville, Tennessee, and Justine Cohen, DO, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, discuss in what situations therapies other than surgery would be beneficial to patients with BCC. Surgery is not always the best option for managing skin cancers and Moody and Cohen delve into what situations warrant the use of systemic therapy.

Cohen noted that patients who benefit from non-surgical treatments of BCC are those who would not tolerate a huge surgery well and those patients who have a BCC in a location where surgery would be disfiguring, as well as those who live far from a surgical center.

“One of the greatest things about the discussion [from the American Academy of Dermatology meeting in New Orleans] was noting what a multidisciplinary effort we use to treat these patients,” said Cohen. Many disciplines besides dermatology can be involved in the management of BCC and SCC cases, including oncology, psychiatry, and more.

Efficacy and Safety of Combination Treatments for BCC

Emily Ruiz, MD, MPH, FAAD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, and Todd Schlesinger, MD, FAAD, Clinical Research Center of the Carolinas, Charleston, South Carolina, discuss the safety and efficacy of combining hedgehog pathway inhibitors and immunotherapy as treatment for patients with BCC.

Because combining the therapies is a new approach, doctors are finding that in some cases patients respond well and in others the outcome is not what is desired, but the option of systemic therapy, especially for patients with multiple tumors, is a positive step. 

Systemic Treatment Considerations for Basal Cell Carcinoma

Brent Moody, MD, FACP, FAAD, Heritage Medical Associates, Nashville, Tennessee, and Justine Cohen, DO, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, discuss factors that need to be considered when choosing systemic therapy for a patient.

In addition to whether the individual will be able to tolerate the medication, insurance coverage and the ability to get to the clinic for monitoring of outcomes need to be considered.

Click here to watch the series.

Reference

  1. Cohen J, Moody B, Ruiz E, Schlesinger T.Expert Perspectives in the Management of Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC). Dermatology Times. May 25, 2023. Accessed June 19, 2023. https://www.dermatologytimes.com/frontline-forum/expert-perspectives-in-the-management-of-basal-cell-carcinoma-bcc/videos
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