Rate and Characteristics of Incompletely Excised Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma: A Dermatological Daily Practice Multicenter Prospective Cohort Study

Charlotte B van Lee, Nina Kouloubis, Marlies Wakkee, Nicole W J Kelleners-Smeets, Ruud G L Nellen, Annik van Rengen, Hanke C de Vijlder, Leon C C Wijne, Tamar Nijsten, Renate R van den Bos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Incomplete excision of squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is associated with an increased risk of recurrence, metastasis, and mortality.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the rate and characteristics of incompletely excised cSCC in a dermatological daily practice setting.

METHODS: Prospective study of all patients who gave informed consent, with a cSCC treated with standard excision (SE) at 1 of 6 Departments of Dermatology in the Netherlands between 2015 and 2017. Pathological reports were screened to detect all incompletely excised cSCCs.

RESULTS: A total of 592 patients with 679 cSCCs were included, whereby most cases were low risk cSCC (89%). The rate of incompletely excised cSCC was 4% (n = 26), and the majority were high-risk cSCCs of which 24 invaded the deep excision margin.

CONCLUSION: This prospective study showed that in a dermatological setting, the risk of an incompletely excised cSCC is low (4%) for a cohort that was dominated by low-risk cSCCs. Most incompletely excised cSCCs were of high risk, and incompleteness was almost always at the deep margins. These results suggest that for high-risk cSCC, one should pay attention especially to the deep margin when performing SE, and/or microscopic surgery should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1269-1273
Number of pages5
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Issue number12
Early online date4 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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