Current options for the treatment of non-melanoma skin cancers

Valencia Thomas, MD, MHCM, discusses the current landscape regarding non-melanoma skin cancers.

Valencia Thomas, MD, MHCM, Department of Dermatology, Division of Internal Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the current landscape regarding non-melanoma skin cancers.

Non-melanoma skin cancers affect millions of people every year, with some of the most common being basal cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, according to Thomas. However, a lot of time and attention is devoted to the management of squamous cell carcinoma because it carries high morbidity.

At the recent annual meeting of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Thomas and other experts hosted a session on caring for patients with aggressive non-melanoma skin cancers. The session highlighted a variety of recent innovations in the management of non-melanoma skin cancers as well as common and uncommon tumors.


0:08 | We focus our session on advanced or aggressive non-melanoma skin cancers that haven’t read the book and stay gone once treated the first time, or those that started in advanced detection. For example, 25-35% of Merkel cell carcinomas are already present in the lymph node at the time of the biopsy. Even though some of these cancers are rare or aggressive, we have several treatment options, several different surgical treatment options, radiation therapy options, and systemic options that alone or in combination can provide patients with a wonderful opportunity for recovery.