Cutaneous Cancer Biology

Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2021 Apr;54(2):259-269. doi: 10.1016/j.otc.2020.11.002. Epub 2021 Feb 11.


There has been a drastic increase in the incidence of nonmelanoma (NMSC), including squamous, basal cell, and melanoma skin cancers worldwide. Most cases of skin cancer can be treated effectively with surgery; fewer than 10% of cases are advanced and may require additional therapies. A better understanding of the biology of skin cancer will help contribute to better prognostic information and identification of possible new therapeutic targets. Herein, the authors review the biology and pathogenesis of both NMSC and melanoma, focusing on critical cell signaling pathways mediating the disease and current therapeutic strategies targeted to underlying genetic pathways.

Keywords: Basal cell carcinoma; Cutaneous skin cancer; Head and neck cancer; Melanoma; Merkel cell carcinoma; Squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms*
  • Humans
  • Melanoma* / epidemiology
  • Melanoma* / genetics
  • Melanoma* / therapy
  • Prognosis
  • Skin Neoplasms* / therapy