Basaloid Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Anus Revisited

Am J Surg Pathol. 2016 Mar;40(3):354-60. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000000594.


Basaloid squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the anus, previously called cloacogenic carcinoma, is a subtype of SCC. There are very few data on the morphologic variation within basaloid SCC of the anus, which may contribute to misdiagnosis. We retrospectively evaluated cases originally diagnosed as basaloid SCC for histologic characterization. We retrieved and reviewed cases of basaloid SCC from 1994 to 2013. Ten (27%) cases were reclassified after review, including basal cell carcinoma (n=6), melanoma (n=2), and neuroendocrine carcinoma (n=2). The final group of basaloid SCC (n=27) showed a female predominance (median age=60 y; range, 42 to 92 y). Morphologically, basaloid SCC could be categorized into 4 groups: transitional carcinoma like (n=10), basaloid with peripheral palisade (n=13), adenoid cystic carcinoma like (n=3), and mucinous microcystic (n=1). In 19 cases the histologic patterns were pure and were mixed in the remainder. CK5/6, p16, and high-risk HPV were positive in all cases (n=27). SOX2 was positive in 18/22 cases. Clinical follow-up was available on 60% of cases; 9 patients (53%) developed local recurrence or metastasis, and 5 (29%) died of disease. Basaloid SCC of the anus is characterized by 4 major histologic patterns and is consistently HPV driven.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anus Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Anus Neoplasms / genetics
  • Anus Neoplasms / mortality
  • Anus Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Anus Neoplasms / therapy
  • Anus Neoplasms / virology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Biopsy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / virology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Human Papillomavirus DNA Tests
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • DNA, Viral

Supplementary concepts

  • Anal Canal Carcinoma