Indian Journal of Dermatology
  Publication of IADVL, WB
  Official organ of AADV
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 147-154

Conventional versus giant basal cell carcinoma, a review of 57 Cases: Histologic differences contributing to excessive growth

1 Department of Dermatology, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL, USA
2 Department of Pathology and Dermatology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, USA
3 Arkansas Dermatopathology PLLC, Little Rock, AR, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sara C Shalin
Department of Pathology, University of Arkansas For Medical Sciences, 4301 W. Markham, Slot 517, Little Rock, AR 72205
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijd.IJD_165_17

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Background: Giant basal cell carcinoma (GBCC) is defined as a basal cell carcinoma (BCC) exceeding 5 cm in size. While these tumors impart significant morbidity due to local tissue destruction and have a higher rate of metastatic disease than their conventional (smaller) counterparts, reasons for their large size remain unclear. While theories relating to neglect or faster growth rate are often invoked; to date, there has not been a comprehensive evaluation of the histologic features of these large tumors that may contribute to their size. Methods: Histologic features of GBCCs (n = 29) were evaluated and compared to those of conventional BCC (n = 28). Available clinical demographic data were also reviewed. Results: GBCCs, in addition to overall larger size, more often were thicker, displayed ulceration, and showed a more infiltrative growth pattern than their conventional counterparts. These rare tumors also displayed an insignificant increased propensity for a brisk host immune response, and the infiltrate significantly more often included clusters of plasma cells. Conclusions: Most histologic features seen in GBCCs likely reflect their large size. Histologic features alone are unlikely to explain the size of these rare tumors. The possibility of an altered host immune response contributing to the growth of these tumors requires further investigation.

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