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Malignant transformation within a dermoid cyst is a rare event. The most common transformation is to squamous cell carcinoma. Patients are often elderly and present with advanced disease. The prognosis tends to be very poor. We present a case of locally invasive squamous cell carcinoma arising from a dermoid cyst in a 48-year-old lady. She underwent debulking surgery with no gross residual disease remaining. Within 2 months of the surgery she had recurrent disease and this was resistant to single agent carboplatin chemotherapy. She died 4 months after her initial surgery. We discuss the difficulties in diagnosing such tumours, the poor prognosis and review the various adjuvant treatment strategies that have been used in attempt to improve the outcome.