Although the rates for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) spreading to other parts of the body are low, the overall incidence of the disease is high, making the number of SCC fatalities greater than that of melanoma.
“While our current staging systems have improved risk prediction, we still need to get better at predicting which squamous cell carcinomas will metastasize,” says Dr. Ibrahim.
This current study reports results of a gene expression profile (GEP) test used to predict the individual biologic risk for metastasis from a given SCC. “The GEP test looks at the individual genetic makeup of a single squamous cell carcinoma and tells us if the patient is at low, intermediate, or high risk for their cancer spreading to other parts of the body or behaving aggressively.
This will help us determine which patients might benefit from additional imaging, increased intensity of surveillance, or additional treatment beyond surgery such as radiation. Conversely, it may also identify a group of patients that were thought to be high risk but shown by GEP testing to be low risk, and thus not overtreat patients who don’t need additional therapy or testing.
It is an exciting time in medicine and certainly in the field of skin cancer. Hopefully, we can improve our ability to identify those cancers at high risk for poor outcome and develop treatment approaches that reduce mortality.”
Rochester Dermatologic Surgery is at the forefront of developing this and other novel approaches to the management of skin cancer. Ongoing projects can be found on our clinical trials web page.