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Keywords:

  • basal cell carcinoma;
  • cancer;
  • cell signalling;
  • epidermal stem cells;
  • heredity;
  • therapy

Summary

Recent insights into the cell biology of the epidermis and its appendages are transforming our understanding of the pathogenesis of basal cell carcinoma (BCC). The significant progress that has been made warrants a comprehensive review of the molecular and cellular pathology of BCC. The items addressed include environmental and genetic risk factors, the biology of the putative precursor cell(s), and the contribution of aberrations in processes such as apoptosis, cell proliferation, differentiation and signalling to carcinogenesis. Furthermore, established and novel treatment modalities are discussed with particular attention to future biological approaches.