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Summary

Background

Metastatic basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a rare but life-threatening condition. Prior estimates of overall survival (OS) from time of diagnosis of distant metastasis to death are approximately 8–14 months. However, these estimates are based on analyses of case reports published prior to 1984.

Objectives

To assess an updated OS in patients with metastatic BCC at a single academic institution.

Methods

Using patients seen from 1997 to 2011, a retrospective chart review was performed on biopsy-confirmed cases of distant metastatic BCC at Stanford University School of Medicine. Kaplan–Meier analysis was used to determine OS and progression-free survival (PFS).

Results

Ten consecutive cases of distant metastatic BCC were identified. Median OS was 7·3 years [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·6–∞]; median PFS was 3·4 years (95% CI 1·1–5·2).

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that OS in patients with distant metastatic BCC may be more favourable than previously reported.