Archives of Dermatological Research

, Volume 310, Issue 6, pp 505–513 | Cite as

Characterization and survival of patients with metastatic basal cell carcinoma in the Department of Veterans Affairs: a retrospective electronic health record review

  • Vanessa W. StevensEmail author
  • David D. Stenehjem
  • Olga V. Patterson
  • Aaron W. C. Kamauu
  • Yeun Mi Yim
  • Robert J. Morlock
  • Scott L. DuVall
Original Paper


Available descriptive statistics for patients with metastatic basal cell carcinoma (mBCC) are limited. To describe disease characteristics, treatment patterns, survival outcomes, and prognostic factors of patients with mBCC, we conducted a retrospective review of electronic health records in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The primary outcome was survival. Data were also collected on demographics, comorbidities, medications, and procedures. Median (IQR) age of patients with mBCC (n = 475) was 72.0 (17.0) years; 97.9% of patients were male. Almost two-thirds of patients received no initial therapy for mBCC. Median overall survival was 40.5 months [95% CI (confidence interval) 4.8–140.0], and was shorter in patients with distant metastases (17.1 months; 95% CI 2.8–58.0) than in those with regional metastases (59.4 months; 95% CI 17.6–140.0). Because the VA mBCC population is largely male and elderly, the generalizability of these results in other populations is limited and must be interpreted cautiously. Data from this large cohort add valuable information on a rare and poorly researched disease and refine previously wide estimates of overall survival for mBCC.


Metastatic basal cell carcinoma Epidemiology Incidence Treatment Survival Veterans 



Third-party medical writing support was provided by Melanie Sweetlove, MSc, and Jennifer M. Kulak, PhD (ApotheCom, San Francisco, CA), and funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.


This study was funded by F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd. This work was performed using resources and facilities at the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System with support from the VA Informatics and Computing Infrastructure (VINCI), VA HSR RES 13-457. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the VA or affiliated institutions.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

SLD and OVP have received research funding through the University of Utah or Western Institute for Biomedical Research from the following for-profit organizations: Amgen Inc., AbbVie Inc., Anolinx LLC, AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Genentech Inc., Genomic Health, Inc., Gilead Sciences Inc., HITEKS Solutions Inc., LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Merck & Co., Inc., Mylan Specialty LP, Northrop Grumman Information Systems, Novartis International AG, PAREXEL International Corporation, and Shire PLC. YMM and RM are employees of Genentech. VWS has received research funding through the University of Utah from Anolinx LLC, Merck & Co., Inc., and Pfizer Inc. DDS has received research funding through the University of Utah from the following for-profit organizations: Genentech Inc., AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Myriad Genetics, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AbbVie Inc., and Novartis International AG. He has served as a paid consultant to the following for-profit organizations: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Myriad Genetics, Salarius Pharmaceuticals, and BetaCat Pharmaceuticals. AK is an owner of Anolinx.

Ethical approval

Institutional review board and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) study and data access approvals were obtained.


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Copyright information

© This is a U.S. Government work and not under copyright protection in the US; foreign copyright protection may apply 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanessa W. Stevens
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • David D. Stenehjem
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Olga V. Patterson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Aaron W. C. Kamauu
    • 5
  • Yeun Mi Yim
    • 6
  • Robert J. Morlock
    • 6
  • Scott L. DuVall
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.VA Salt Lake City Health Care SystemSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.University of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Huntsman Cancer InstituteUniversity of Utah Hospitals and ClinicsSalt Lake CityUSA
  4. 4.University of Utah College of PharmacySalt Lake CityUSA
  5. 5.Anolinx LLCSalt Lake CityUSA
  6. 6.Genentech Inc.South San FranciscoUSA

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