Basal cell carcinoma (BCC), when untreated, causes significant morbidity and mortality. Challenging tumors are regularly reviewed in multimodality tumor boards and are classified not by metastatic risk (inherently very low) but by histologic type and other tumor characteristics. Tumors are thus triaged appropriately to destruction, excision, topical therapy, Mohs surgery, or ionizing radiation therapies. The cure rate for BCC with monotherapy has largely exceeded that for other human cancers, prompting some to lose sight of the tremendous challenge it still creates.1 The increasing number of these cancers and the increasing longevity of patients leaves us with more complex BCC tumors to manage. We now have a type of chemotherapy available for BCC, and with the 2 cases reported in this issue of JAMA Dermatology, Pollom et al2 demonstrate the possibility of true combination therapy.
Strasswimmer JM. Potential Synergy of Radiation Therapy With Vismodegib for Basal Cell Carcinoma. JAMA Dermatol. 2015;151(9):925-926. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.0977