Basal Cell Carcinosarcoma: A Report of 4 Cases and Review of the Literature

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Abstract

Background:

To describe the features of 4 cases of basal cell carcinosarcoma and systematically review previously reported cases.

Methods:

Four cases of basal cell carcinosarcoma were identified from the practice of the authors. A search of the literature revealed an additional 40 cases, variously described in small series and single case reports. The clinical and pathological features of these 44 cases are described.

Results:

Basal cell carcinosarcoma is largely a tumor of elderly men (male:female 3:1, average age: 76 years). The majority of these lesions are relatively small (<25 mm). Heterologous elements are common, particularly an osteosarcomatous component, which is present in 45% of cases. Although there are relatively limited follow-up data, only 1 case formally reported in the literature has shown distant metastasis.

Conclusions:

Despite relatively high reported rates of local recurrence and metastasis for “carcinosarcoma” as an unrefined entity, it seems that the subgroup of basal cell carcinosarcoma has a relatively good prognosis, with adequate local excision being curative in the majority of cases. Recognition of this entity is critical for accurate diagnosis and its separation from other types of carcinosarcoma may have significant prognostic implications.

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