Dr-Connie Zhong

Pediatric Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers Without Known Risk Factors

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Jennifer Huang

Dr. Huang

Jennifer Huang, MD 
Dr. Huang is a pediatric dermatologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
She is an Associate Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Huang is a member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology.

Dr-Connie Zhong

Dr. Zhong

Connie Zhong, MD, MSc
Dr. Zhong is an intern at Brigham and Women’s Hospital
She will be doing her dermatology residency at the Harvard Combined Dermatology Program.
She is a member of the Society for Pediatric Dermatology. 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Pediatric nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSC) are rare and when they do occur, are often associated with genetic/predisposing skin conditions or iatrogenic risk factors. There are some pediatric patients who develop NMSCs who do not have identifiable risk factors. The objective of our study was to describe the demographic and clinical features of these children without identifiable risk factors and compare them with those who have either genetic or iatrogenic risk factors. We conducted a retrospective study at 11 tertiary care institutions across North America through the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDRA)

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? Are there particular locations, pre-existing conditions or risk factors associated with these findings?

Response: Patients were included in our study if they were younger than 20 years of age and had nonmelanoma skin cancers. We found that patients without identifiable risk factors were diagnosed with initial skin cancers, on average, four years older than those with predisposing skin conditions. These patients also had fewer skin cancers at initial diagnosis and less evidence of actinic damage. Interestingly, while patients without risk factors had fewer total skin cancers per 100 person-years than patients with predisposing skin conditions, these patients had more total skin cancers than those with iatrogenic risk factors. There was no association between location of skin cancer and presence of risk factor.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Pediatric patients with nonmelanoma skin cancers who do not have identifiable risk factors tend to have good prognosis with a milder phenotype than those with predisposing skin conditions. However, these patients should still receive regular skin exams and perform diligent sun protection as they may have a similar or higher incidence of skin cancers than those with iatrogenic risk factors.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: While this study characterizes an important subset of pediatric patients without identifiable risk factors who develop NMSC, it is still not known what the pathogenesis of these skin cancers are. Thus, future research could focus on tissue analysis to elucidate underlying skin tumorigenesis in pediatric patients.

No disclosures


Characteristics of non-melanoma skin cancer in children without identifiable risk factors
JAAD VOLUME 81, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT 1, AB180, Oct 1 2020



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Last Updated on September 9, 2020 by Marie Benz MD FAAD