Cutaneous metastases from internal malignancies


  • Conflict of interest statement: There is no conflict of interest for any of the authors including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations within three years of beginning the work submitted that could inappropriately influence the work.

Dorothée Nashan, MD, Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Freiburg, Hauptstr. 7, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany, or email:


Cutaneous metastases of internal malignancies still seem to occur infrequently, although medical publications report an incidence rate of up to 10.4%. Common sense, however, fosters suspicion that we might underdiagnose the problem distracted by harder striking facets of an advanced disease.

With contemporary knowledge, morphology and behavior of cutaneous metastases resemble each other regardless of the site of origin. This article itemizes clinical presentations according to organ systems, specific features, and differential diagnoses. In general, the survival turned out to be less than 12 months. But incremental awareness of cutaneous metastases proclaims this paradigm insufficient. Although excision is the local treatment of choice, investigations attempt to propose tumor-specific chemotherapeutic/immunological approaches. This paper endeavors to critically review the state of the art concerning the clinic, prognosis, and therapeutic concepts.