Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Patients with Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Cancers (Basel). 2021 Mar 8;13(5):1153. doi: 10.3390/cancers13051153.


Background: Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is a rare complication of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). Objectives: To conduct a systematic review and an individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis to describe the clinical characteristics of HS patients developing cSCC and determine predictors of poor outcome. Methods: Medline/PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science were searched for studies reporting cSCC arising in patients with HS from inception to December 2019. A routine descriptive analysis, statistical hypothesis testing, and Kaplan-Meier survival curves/Cox proportional hazards regression models were performed. Results: A total of 34 case reports and series including 138 patients were included in the study. The majority of patients were males (81.6%), White (83.3%), and smokers (n = 22/27 reported) with a mean age of 53.5 years. Most patients had gluteal (87.8%), Hurley stage 3 HS (88.6%). The mean time from the diagnosis of HS to the development of cSCC was 24.7 years. Human papillomavirus was identified in 12/38 patients tested. Almost 50% of individuals had nodal metastasis and 31.3% had distant metastases. Half of the patients succumbed to their disease. Conclusions: cSCC is a rare but life-threatening complication seen in HS patients, mainly occurring in White males who are smokers with severe, long-standing gluteal HS. Regular clinical examination and biopsy of any suspicious lesions in high-risk patients should be considered. The use of HPV vaccination as a preventive and possibly curative method needs to be explored.

Keywords: Marjolin ulcer; Verneuil’s disease; acne inversa; cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma; hidradenitis suppurativa; human papillomavirus.