, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 83-91
Date: 21 Mar 2008

Basaloid Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

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Basaloid squamous cell carcinoma (BSCC) is a rare and aggressive variant of cancer that mainly arises in the upper aerodigestive tract. This study reviews the clinico-pathological features and follow-up of a series of cases occurring in the head and neck. During a 32-year period (1974–2005), a total of 40 BSCCs have been diagnosed in the head and neck in our Institution. Males predominated in the series (35M/5F). The average age was 60.2 years (range, 40–85). Tobacco and alcohol consumption was found in more than 80% of the cases. Topographic distribution was as follows: larynx and hypopharynx, 22 cases (55%); oropharynx, 12 cases (30%); and oral cavity 6 cases (15%). The basaloid component predominated in 29 cases (72.5%). Vasculo-lymphatic invasion was detected in 5 cases (12.5%). Lymph node metastases were seen in 25 cases (62.5%, levels II and III in the neck dissection). Local recurrences appeared in 11 cases (27.5%) and distant metastases in 6 (15%). In 7 cases (17.5%) a second primary tumour was detected. The 2002 TNM staging was as follows: Stage I, 5 cases (12.5%); Stage II, 7 cases (17.5%); Stage III, 8 cases (20%), and Stage IV, 20 cases (50%). On follow-up, 21 cases (52.5%) are alive and 19 (47.5%) died of disease. Three- and 5-year overall survival was 50% and 38.5%, respectively. A significant shorter survival was detected in node positive patients (P<0.05).

This piece of knowledge has been partially presented as a poster (abstract #1017) in the 96th Annual Meeting of the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, in San Diego, CA, March 24–30, 2007.