PD-1 inhibitor therapy of basal cell carcinoma with pulmonary metastasis

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2022 Jan;36 Suppl 1:70-73. doi: 10.1111/jdv.17530.


Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) may be challenging to differentiate from basaloid squamous cell carcinoma (bSCC), both clinically and histologically. BCC constitutes one of the most common tumours and metastatic behaviour is extremely rare. In contrast, bSCC is a rare entity with an increased propensity for distant metastasis. If these conditions develop into inoperable metastatic disease, the therapeutic alternatives are different, but the use of PD-1 inhibitors may be a valid option for both. Here, we report a case with complex histology with a component initially classified as bSCC with lung metastases and treated with the PD-1 inhibitor cemiplimab resulting in radiological and clinical responses. Re-examination of the lung biopsy using routine histomorphology in combination with immunohistochemical staining for cytokeratin 14, cytokeratin17 and BerEp4 has, however, revealed a histopathological pattern of BCC, which is in concordance with a similar analysis of the cutaneous primary tumour in the face that the patient underwent surgery for more than 5 years earlier.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell* / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell*
  • Humans
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
  • Lung Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms, Basal Cell*


  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

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