Current Otorhinolaryngology Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 120–128 | Cite as

High-Risk Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

  • Harriet E. Gee
  • Michael J. Veness
HEAD & NECK: Non-melanoma Skin Cancer of the Head and Neck (J Moyer, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on HEAD & NECK: Non-melanoma Skin Cancer of the Head and Neck


Purpose of Review

The aim of this report is to review the literature on patients diagnosed with a “high-risk” cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), defined as the subset (5–10%) of cSCC patients at increased risk of developing predominantly local and/or regional recurrence and, to a lesser extent, distant metastasis.

Recent Findings

There are no universally accepted criteria for defining or managing patients with a high-risk cSCC. We reviewed the literature and examined risk stratification, management strategies, and promising future directions. A new staging system, from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has provided important data on high-risk cSCC patients, highlighting the increasing risks associated with the interaction of a number of high-risk independent variables a patient has.


Only a minority of cSCC patients can be considered as high risk for developing recurrence and potentially dying from cSCC. Most patients are cured following local treatment, usually surgery. It is the high-risk patients that need to be identified and managed appropriately, often requiring multimodality treatment.


High risk Nodal metastases Radiotherapy Squamous cell carcinoma 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All reported studies with human subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: ● Of importance ●● Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiation Oncology, Crown Princess Mary Cancer CentreWestmead HospitalSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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