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Curettage and electrodessication combined with photodynamic therapy in the treatment of large squamous cell carcinomas in unfit and frail patients
  1. Henrik Luu1,
  2. Måns Cornefjord2,
  3. Åke Svensson1 and
  4. Henry Svensson2
  1. 1Department of Dermatology, Department of Clinical Sciences Malmo, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmo, Sweden
  2. 2Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Clinical Sciences Malmo, Lund University, Skåne University Hospital, Malmo, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Henrik Luu; henrik.luu{at}


A Caucasian female patient in her 90s was referred to the department of plastic and reconstructive surgery for surgical removal of a large invasive squamous cell carcinoma on the anterior chest wall. A skin biopsy prior to the referral indicated that the tumour was moderately differentiated. The patient suffered from severe congestive heart failure with a mechanical valve prosthesis and atrial fibrillation, and was therefore treated with anticoagulants. Hence, a surgical procedure would be hazardous. Therefore, other treatment options were considered. The principal aim was to reduce the amount of tumour tissue to an appropriate size suitable for later excision with primary wound closure. After interdisciplinary discussions, curettage and electrodessication combined with photodynamic therapy was judged the best alternative treatment in this case. At the 1.5 years follow-up after the intervention there was no indication for further surgery. The patient was at that stage content with the treatment and its outcome.

  • Dermatology
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Ethics

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  • Contributors All authors have substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; the acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data for the work. HL,MC, ÅS, HS—drafting the work and revising it critically for important intellectual content. HL,MC, ÅS, HS—final approval of the version to be published. HL,MC, ÅS, HS—agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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