Review of Perineural Invasion in Keratinocyte Carcinomas

Abstract

Perineural invasion is an infiltrative process of peripheral nerves by the primary neoplasm within the immediate vicinity. Aggressive forms of keratinocyte carcinomas, such as basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, may feature perineural invasion, which is often associated with tumor recurrence and poorer prognosis. Diagnosis requires a high clinical suspicion. Imaging and histopathology are used to assess for extent of disease while surgical excision with complete circumferential peripheral and margin assessment is the treatment goal. However, there is still significant uncertainty about adjuvant chemotherapy and definitive management guidelines. Here, we summarize the current understanding of this complex pathogenic process, the clinical presentation, and the significance of perineural inflammation. We also discuss the recommendations about staging, prognosis, adjuvant radiotherapy, and general guidelines for managing keratinocyte carcinomas with perineural invasion. A better understanding of perineural invasion is essential to improve diagnosis, tailor interventions, and mitigate patient morbidity and mortality.

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Correspondence to Amor Khachemoune.

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Albert E. Zhou, Karl M. Hoegler, and Amor Khachemoune have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this article.

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KMH and AK conceived the idea for the manuscript. AEZ and KMH analyzed the literature and drafted the manuscript. All authors edited the manuscript.

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Zhou, A.E., Hoegler, K.M. & Khachemoune, A. Review of Perineural Invasion in Keratinocyte Carcinomas. Am J Clin Dermatol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40257-021-00615-6

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