Characteristics and diagnosis of esophageal basaloid squamous cell carcinoma

Rieko Nakamura, Tai Omori, Hiroya Takeuchi, Hirofumi Kawakubo, Tsunehiro Takahashi, Norihito Wada, Yoshirou Saikawa, Kaori Kameyama, Yuko Kitagawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Basaloid squamous cell carcinoma (BSCC) is a relatively rare, malignant disease of the esophagus. The prognosis of patients with BSCC is thought to be poorer than that of typical squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), but the treatment strategy for BSCC is generally the same as that for typical SCC. This study examined the diagnosis, the clinical and pathological characteristics, and the results of therapy in patients with BSCC.

Methods: The medical records for 13 patients with pathologically confirmed esophageal BSCC were extracted. The pretreatment endoscopic diagnosis and the pathological diagnosis after resection were reviewed for each patient, and the histological features and patient outcome were examined. We especially focus on histological difference and endoscopic findings of the 13 patients with BSCC.

Results: Macroscopically, BSCC was mainly visualized as an elevated lesion with normal epithelium on the surface layer which indicated the tumor growth into submucosa. Further pathological examination allowed the 13 BSCC patients to be grouped into 2 groups according to differences in the microscopic appearances of the BSCC cancer cells: a typical BSCC pattern and a pattern similar to that of poorly differentiated SCC. Six of the patients who received an esophagectomy as the primary treatment died, and only 1 patient survived. Two patients who received chemoradiotherapy before an esophagectomy did not develop recurrences. Almost all the patients who died as a result of the recurrence of esophageal cancer had a lymph node recurrence. Prognoses of BSCCs with a pattern similar to that of poorly differentiated SCC without preoperative chemotherapy were poorer than BSCCs with a typical BSCC pattern, while BSCC with a pattern similar to poorly differentiated SCC with preoperative chemotherapy showed good prognoses than BSCC without preoperative chemotherapy.

Conclusions: BSCC esophageal cancer mainly appears as an elevated lesion with submucosal growth, which can be diagnosed preoperatively by understanding of macroscopic characteristics of esophageal BSCC. The outcome of the BSCC patients in the present study was relatively poor, while pretreatment diagnosis of BSCC influences the strategy of treatment and pathological diagnosis including histological difference of BSCC may lead to appropriate treatment and better prognosis of esophageal BSCC.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2015 Mar 4


  • Basaloid squamous cell carcinoma
  • Esophageal cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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