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August 2004

Possible Role for Sentinal Node Biopsy in the Management of Squamous Cell Carcinomas in Inherited Epidermolysis Bullosa

Arch Dermatol. 2004;140(8):1012-1013. doi:10.1001/archderm.140.8.1012-b

Wagner and colleagues1 are to be applauded for applying sentinel node biopsy to the evaluation of patients with nonmelanoma skin cancers who are at high risk for regional metastasis. I would urge that similar work be done in the setting of inherited epidermolysis bullosa (EB). It is well known that patients with recessive dystrophic EB, and rarely also junctional EB, are at risk for the development of usually multiple primary squamous cell carcinomas on or after about age 13 years.2 Most of these tumors develop on the arms and legs. In the setting of Hallopeau-Siemens recessive dystrophic EB, for example, published data from the National EB Registry demonstrate that over 50% of all patients will develop at least 1 cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma by age 35 years.2

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