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Int J Dermatol. 2013 Jul;52(7):856-61. doi: 10.1111/ijd.12021. Epub 2013 May 15.

Mohs surgery in metastatic cancer: renal cell carcinoma solitary cutaneous metastasis and visceral tumor metastases to skin treated with microscopically controlled surgical excision.

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University of Texas at Houston School of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.



Mohs micrographic surgery is the reference standard treatment for primary cutaneous malignancies.


The purpose of this case study is to demonstrate that Mohs surgery may be considered as a possible treatment for a solitary metastatic tumor under the appropriate circumstances.


We report a patient in whom a solitary cutaneous metastasis of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) was successfully treated with microscopically controlled surgical excision, and cite instances of the successful management of cutaneous metastases using the Mohs surgical technique in oncology patients reported in the literature. Patient reports and previous reviews of the subject were critically assessed. Salient features are presented.


Metastases to the skin are rare in RCC. Albeit rarely, surgical excision, particularly Mohs micrographic surgery, has been used for the removal of isolated RCC cutaneous metastases. In the present patient with metastatic RCC, a solitary cutaneous metastasis on the occipital scalp was successfully treated with Mohs micrographic surgery. There was no recurrence of the lesion after two years of follow-up; however, the patient eventually succumbed to progressive disease.


We suggest that, in the appropriate setting, surgical excision of isolated cutaneous metastases using microscopically controlled margins at the time of surgery should be added to the indications for Mohs surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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