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Eur J Dermatol. 2012 May-Jun;22(3):299-309. doi: 10.1684/ejd.2011.1633.

Genetic skin diseases predisposing to basal cell carcinoma.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, San Camillo-Forlanini Hospital, Rome, Italy.


Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the commonest cancer in humans. Predisposing factors reflect common genetic variations and environmental influences in most cases. However, an underlying Mendelian disorder should be suspected in a specific subset of patients, namely those with multiple, early onset lesions. Some specific conditions, including Gorlin, Bazex-Dupré-Christol and Rombo syndromes, and Xeroderma Pigmentosum, show BCC as a prominent feature. In addition, BCC may represent a relatively common, although less specific, finding in many other genodermatoses. These include disorders of DNA replication/repair functions (Bloom, Werner, Rothmund-Thomson and Muir-Torre syndromes), genodermatoses affecting the folliculo-sebaceus unit (Brooke-Spiegler, Schöpf-Schulz-Passarge and Cowden syndromes), immune response (cartilage-hair hypoplasia and epidermodysplasia verruciformis) and melanin biosynthesis (oculocutaneous albinism and Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome), and some epidermal nevus syndromes. Further conditions occasionally associated with BCCs exist, but the significance of the association remains to be proven.

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