Catastrophic cutaneous carcinomatosis in the non-organ transplant patient

Ryan B. Turner, Imran Amir, Jane Y. Yoo, Aaron E. Fuchs, David A. Kriegel, Ellen S. Marmur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The increased frequency of nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) in organ transplant recipients has been termed "catastrophic cutaneous carcinomatosis" (CCC). We have treated a cohort of immunocompetent patients with an increased number of NMSCs that meets the definition of CCC whom we have termed "catastrophic cutaneous carcinomatosis-immunocompetent" (CCC-IC). Objective: We sought to further understand the epidemiologic characteristics of this subset of immunocompetent patients with a high burden of NMSCs. Methods: Our pathology database was searched over a 4-year experience of a Mohs surgeon to identify patients with greater than 10 basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) and/or squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) in a 12-month period who had no underlying systemic cause of immunosuppression or genetic predisposition to form NMSCs. Information regarding the 13 patients who met inclusion criteria was collected by questionnaire and analyzed. Results: There was no statistically significant difference in the constitutional variables of this patient population. Patients with CCC-IC had a SCC:BCC ratio of 2.5:1, similar to what is seen in organ transplant recipients where the SCC:BCC ratio is 2:1 with SCC predominance. There was a statistically significant increase in the number of SCCs in patients with CCC-IC (8.77/patient) as compared with control patients (2.27/patient). Most strikingly, a 13.8-fold higher incidence of malignant melanoma in the CCC-IC group was found as compared with the general population. Limitations: Limitations to this study include a small sample size and recall bias. Conclusion: Our data suggest that patients with CCC-IC have skin cancer profiles of SCC and BCC similar to organ transplant recipients and have a markedly higher incidence of malignant melanoma than the general population. These patients require strict monitoring and combination therapeutic approaches toward management of cutaneous carcinomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)536-541
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • basal cell carcinoma
  • catastrophic cutaneous carcinomatosis
  • immunocompetent patients
  • nonmelanoma skin cancers
  • squamous cell carcinoma


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