Squamous cell carcinoma of the hand: A retrospective study in immunosuppressed and immunocompetent individuals

Jamie L. Mull, Patrick S. Phelan, Aaron B. Mull, Aaron J. Russell, Eva A. Hurst, M. Laurin Council

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the hand presents a treatment challenge because of the anatomical complexity of this location. Immunosuppressed patients are disproportionately affected by cutaneous SCC. Existing data on SCC of the hand are primarily presented in the orthopedic literature, and may thus be affected by referral bias.OBJECTIVE Characterization of epidemiology and treatment outcomes for hand versus nonhand cutaneous SCC in immunosuppressed versus immunocompetent patients, across all clinical departments.MATERIALS AND METHODS Single-institution retrospective cohort study of cutaneous SCC evaluated over 3 years and hand SCC over an additional 5 years. RESULTSA cohort of 522 hand SCC cases (1,746 total SCC) was ascertained among 1,064 patients, of whom 175 were immunosuppressed. Occurrence on the hand was more common for SCC arising in immunosuppressed versus immunocompetent patients (38% vs 24% of cases respectively). Hand SCC cases demonstrated balanced laterality and comparable spectra of differentiation regardless of immunosuppression. No cases of hand SCC metastasis were observed over greater than 2 years' mean follow-up, and digital amputation was only required in approximately 1% of hand SCCs. CONCLUSION In our cohort, assessment of hand SCC across all clinical departments suggests more favorable prognosis than reflected in the previous literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1014-1020
Number of pages7
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


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