The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) has established guidelines for the treatment of keratinocyte carcinomas (KCs). Complete circumferential peripheral and deep margin assessment (CCPDMA) is recommended for “high-risk” tumors that cannot be closed primarily. If flap or grafts are needed and CCPDMA was not used, it is recommended that reconstruction be delayed until achieving clear margins.
To measure provider utilization rates of the NCCN guidelines for high-risk KCs and assess barriers that are limiting adherence.
A ten-item questionnaire was distributed to NCCN nonmelanoma skin cancer panel members and physicians participating in KC treatment at academic institutions.
Response rate was 49% (57/116). Responses were categorized by practice area: Mohs surgery, pathology, and other specialties: General Dermatology, Otolaryngology, Plastic Surgery, Surgical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Mohs surgeons were most likely to use CCPDMA for tumors meeting NCCN criteria with 14/15 using this technique in a majority of their cases, versus 2/6 pathologists and 10/16 specialists from other fields. Reasons cited for not using CCPDMA included deference to pathologists to determine the appropriate method for margin assessment and logistical difficulty.
Further efforts are needed to increase adherence to NCCN’s guidelines regarding CCPDMA in KCs.