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G Ital Dermatol Venereol. 2008 Jun;143(3):169-73.

Collagen IV, laminin, fibronectin, vitronectin. Comparative study in basal cell carcinoma. Correlation between basement membrane molecules expression and invasive potential.

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Anatomical Pathology Unit, ARNAS Civico - G. Di Cristina - M. Ascoli, Palermo, Italy.



Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a malignant carcinoma arising by cells of epidermal basal layer and adnexal epithelium. It appears intimately connected with a stromale component that holds a relevant role for tumour's evolution. It occurs frequently on sun-exposed regions, and is considered as low potential for metastasis, whereas its local invasion, destruction and recurrence are well known.


Particularly formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue from 40 cases of BCC, 20 recurring and 20 not recurring, had been studied, with immunohistochemical techniques to value the distribution of intrinsic and extrinsic components of basal membrane.


The immunohistochemical examination showed collagen IV and laminin continuous positivity in peripheral cells, seating around neoplastic nests of 62.5% not recurring BCC. The same antigens exhibited discontinuous positivity in cells with non distinguished borders, seating around nests of 85% micronodular recurring BCC. The valuation of fibronectin and vitronectin could have a more significant prognostic value. Fibronectin in fact appeared hyper-expressed in peritumoral stroma of 80% recurring BCC, vitronectin appeared less expressed than normally in peritumoral stroma of 95% recurring BCC.


A correlation between basal membrane's break and carcinoma's recurrence has been noticed. This shows the utility of other prognostic factors helping the valuation of malignant progression.

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