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A Vismodegib Experience in Elderly Patients with Basal Cell Carcinoma: Case Reports and Review of the Literature

Cutaneous basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common type of human tumor, and its incidence rate is increasing worldwide. Up until a few years ago, therapeutic options have been limited for patients with advanced BCC (including metastatic and locally-advanced BCC). Over the last few years, promising systemic therapies have been investigated for the treatment of advanced BCC. In particular, the Hedgehog signaling inhibition has shown remarkable results for this population. Hedgehog inhibitors, represented by vismodegib and sonidegib, have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of both locally advanced and metastatic BCC, with, generally, a good safety profile. Notwithstanding the late onset of BCC in the global population, associated with life expectancy increase, only a few clinical trials have evaluated the efficacy and safety profile of Hedgehog inhibitors in this complex and neglected population. Herein, we review the major mechanisms implicated in the pathogenesis of BCC focusing on the Hedgehog signaling pathway and its therapeutic role in the elderly population. Finally, we report two case reports of BCC elderly patients in order to demonstrate both efficacy and safety of the Hedgehog inhibitors.

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