Why SCCs need aggressive treatment

Once a cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma recurs, it can be very hard to get control over: expert

Patients with cutaneous squamous cell cancer of the head and neck who have disease recurrence after treatment have poor survival, according to a retrospective study.

"The findings underscore the importance of intensifying upfront treatment to prevent recurrence for high-risk patients, given the low rate of successful salvage," said researcher Dr Bindu Manyam from the Cleveland Clinic in the US.

Dr Manyam and colleagues examined data on 205 patients who underwent surgical resection and postoperative radiotherapy for primary or recurrent stage I-IV disease between 1995 and 2014.

Seventy-two patients developed recurrence, with locoregional occurrence being most common, in the study reported in JAMA Dermatology.

After any recurrence, one-year overall survival was 43% and median survival was 8.4 months.

In the 45 patients with available data, the nine who underwent surgical salvage