Systemic treatments for basal cell carcinoma (BCC): the advent of dermato-oncology in BCC

Authors

  • F.R. Ali,

    1. Dermatology Centre, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, University of Manchester, Manchester, U.K
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  • J.T. Lear

    Corresponding author
    • Dermatology Centre, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, University of Manchester, Manchester, U.K
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  • Funding sources None.
  • Conflicts of interest J.T.L. has accepted honoraria for speaking at meetings by Leo, Galderma, Almirall, Astellas and GlaxoSmithKline.

Correspondence

John T. Lear.

E-mail: john.lear@cmft.nhs.uk

Summary

Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common cancer in the U.K. and its incidence is increasing. Vismodegib, a hedgehog pathway inhibitor, has recently been licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of advanced BCC. Phase 2 trials have demonstrated efficacy in cases of locally advanced and metastatic BCC, as well as cases of hereditary basal cell naevus (Gorlin) syndrome. Side-effects are frequent and considerable and include myalgia, taste disturbance, alopecia, weight loss and fatigue. Further research is needed to investigate means of circumventing these side-effects, and longitudinal data are required to assess the long-term benefits of, and the nature of resistance to, this novel class of agents. Alternative hedgehog inhibitors are currently in clinical development. We review the current data pertaining to this novel treatment modality and discuss its likely future role in the management of BCC.

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