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J Dermatol Case Rep. 2010 Nov 19;4(2):22-4. doi: 10.3315/jdcr.2010.1046.

A huge infiltrating squamous cell carcinoma of the neck 46 years after radiotherapy of a haemangioma.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany.



There is a higher risk for malignant tumours in patients who underwent any kind of radiotherapy.


An 87-year-old patient with an extended squamous cell carcinoma of the neck was referred to our hospital. The large ulcerated tumour showed a deep infiltration of the para-vertebral muscles and the spinal processes C6-C7. The tumour was known since about six years and appeared about 46 years after low-dose radiotherapy of a cervical haemangioma of the neck in 1961. The large dimension of the tumour leaded to a radical surgical removal and a sufficient fast reconstruction strategy. The extended defect was covered by a pedicled lower musculocutaneous trapezius flap. No postoperative complications like partial necrosis, infection or movement disorders of the shoulder or a shoulder drop syndrome were seen. Ten weeks after the operation the patient showed a good functional and aesthetic result with no limitation of arm mobility. Two and a half years after radical intended surgery the patient was still alive and showed no recurrence of the tumour.


In conclusion there is a need for a life-time lasting dermatological supervision in patients with a history of radiotherapy in the past, because the handling of patients with such an enlarged tumour is complicated.


haemangioma; radiotherapy; squamous cell carcinoma; trapezius flap

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