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Basal Cell Carcinoma Follows Embryonic Fusion Planes

Study finds correlation between fusion planes and anatomic location on face

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Basal cell carcinomas are more than four times more likely to occur at an embryonic fusion plane than at any other region of the midface area, according to a report in the August issue of Dermatologic Surgery.

Jessica Clark Newman, M.D., of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of 1,457 cases of basal cell carcinomas using archived digital images and a detailed anatomic diagram to code them according to specific location. Anatomic sites were aggregated into embryonic and non-embryonic fusion planes.

Of the 1,457 cases, 859 were located in the midface. Thirty-five percent of these midface lesions correlated to embryonic fusion planes. The relative tumor density was 3.06 for these lesions as compared to 0.74 for the remaining lesions.

"Although there is no consensus about the importance of anatomic location in the pathogenesis of basal cell carcinoma, these data are compatible with the notion that pathways regulating cell proliferation and differentiation in embryogenesis may also be important players in adult tumorigenesis," the authors conclude.

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