Epidermolysis bullosa (EB), notably severe recessive dystrophic EB (RDEB-S), is associated with increased risk of aggressive mucocutaneous squamous cell carcinomas, the major cause of mortality in early adulthood. This observational, retrospective case review describes a series of EB patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas over a 28-year period. Forty-four EB patients with squamous cell carcinomas were identified with a total of 221 primary tumours. They comprised: 31 (70%) with RDEB-S, 4 (9%) with other RDEB subtypes, 5 (11.4%) with dominant dystrophic EB, 3 (6.8%) with intermediate junctional EB and 1 (2.3%) with Kindler EB. Squamous cell carcinomas occurred earlier in RDEB-S (median age 29.5 years; age range 13–52 years) than other groups collectively (median age 47.1 years; age range 30–89 years) and most had multiple tumours (mean 5.8; range 1–44). Squamous cell carcinoma-associated mortality was high in RDEB-S (64.5%), with median survival after first squamous cell carcinoma of 2.4 years (range 0.5–12.6 years), significantly lower than previous reports, highlighting the need for early surveillance and better treatments.
- Epidermolysis bullosa
- Squamous cell carcinoma