Basal Cell Carcinoma and Risk for Development of Other Cancers

Key Points

  • 19.7% of the frequent basal cell carcinoma cohort harbored pathogenic mutations in DNA repair genes.
  • Individuals with six or more basal cell carcinomas had an increased risk of other malignancies, with a 3.5-fold increase in the frequent basal cell carcinoma cohort and a 3.2-fold increase in the insurance database.

Patients who develop frequent cases of basal cell carcinoma appear to be at significantly increased risk for the development of other cancers, according to a study published by Cho et al in JCI Insight.

Methods

Researchers studied 61 people treated at Stanford Health Care for frequent basal cell carcinomas—an average of 11 per patient over a 10-year period. They investigated whether these people may have mutations in 29 genes that code for DNA-damage-repair proteins. Twenty-one of the 61 people reported a history of additional cancers other than basal cell carcinoma.

The researchers applied a similar analysis to a large medical insurance claims database. Over 13,000 people in the database had six or more basal cell carcinomas.

Findings

19.7% of the frequent basal cell carcinoma cohort harbored pathogenic mutations in DNA repair genes: APC, BARD1, BRCA1, BRCA2, CDH1, CHEK2, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, MUTYH, NBN, and PALB2. Individuals with six or more basal cell carcinomas had an increased risk of other malignancies, with a 3.5-fold increase in the frequent basal cell carcinoma cohort and a 3.2-fold increase in the insurance database.

The researchers concluded that individuals who developed frequent basal cell carcinomas have an increased prevalence of germline mutations in DNA repair genes and increased malignancy risk.

Researchers are continuing to enroll Stanford patients in the study to learn whether particular mutations in genes responsible for repairing DNA damage are linked to the development of specific malignancies.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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