Purpose of review
Skin cancers are the most prevalent malignant disorder affecting humans. Approximately 90% of these are nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC), and large tumors, especially at the ‘H-zone’, can invade deeply and access the skull base. The best treatment for these very advanced skin cancers is craniofacial resection followed by adjuvant treatment, but, currently, systemic therapy and neoadjuvant approaches could be considered for some patients. The current management of NMSC involving the skull base is discussed in this article.
Surgical resections with negative margins followed by adjuvant treatment are the best treatment for NMSC with skull base invasion and offer the best outcomes for those patients. This approach usually requires a free flap reconstruction, followed by external beam radiation therapy. The team must keep in mind that some factors, such as gross brain invasion and extensive dura mater extension, are associated with worse outcomes.
Although it occurs infrequently, very advanced NMSC can involve the skull base. In these very difficult clinical scenarios, the best therapeutic option is a multidisciplinary approach in a tertiary center.