Indexed with PubMed and Science Citation Index (E) 
Users online: 2919 
     Home | Feedback | Login 
About Current Issue Archive Ahead of print Search Instructions Online Submission Subscribe What's New Contact  
  Navigate here 
   Next article
   Previous article 
   Table of Contents
 Resource links
   Similar in PUBMED
    Search Pubmed for
    Search in Google Scholar for
   [PDF Not available] *
   Citation Manager
   Access Statistics
   Reader Comments
   Email Alert *
   Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
   Case Reports

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded0    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 1    

Recommend this journal


Year : 1991  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 196-197

Disseminated discoid lupus erythematosus with squamous cell carcinoma

Correspondence Address:
V Laxmi Nair

Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Nair V L, Chacko M. Disseminated discoid lupus erythematosus with squamous cell carcinoma. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1991;57:196-7

How to cite this URL:
Nair V L, Chacko M. Disseminated discoid lupus erythematosus with squamous cell carcinoma. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol [serial online] 1991 [cited 2020 Sep 22];57:196-7. Available from:

Malignant transformation in a lesion of Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE) is rare. It is rarer still in a lesion of short duration. Here is a report of squamous cell carcinoma de­veloping in a lesion of 4 years duration.

  Case Reports Top

A 37-year-old health inspector was seen for an asymptomatic growth on the lower lip of 6 months duration. Four years ago, he was diagnosed to have DLE and was treated by a dermatologist with chloroquine diphosphate tablets 200 mg thrice daily. Within a year, he developed blurring of vision. He then resorted to ayurvedic treatment, for nearly 3 years. The growth on the lower lip was noticed on an erythematous scaly plaque. He has been a heavy smoker since 12 years. On examina­tion, there were bilateral, asymmetrically dis­tributed, papules and plaques 0.5 - 4 cm in size over the face, ears, vertex of the scalp, trunk and extensor forearms. Some of the plaques had adherent scaling, telangiectasia, depigmentation and atrophy. On the lower lip there was a fungating growth 3.5 X 3 cm in size over an erythematous scaly plaque with atrophy and depigmentation. The submental lymph nodes were enlarged, hard and fixed to the underlying tissues. Systemic examination was normal. Except for a raised ESR, pres­ence of rheumatoid factor and antinuclear antibodies, there were no other laboratory abnormalities. Histopathological examination of the growth was reported as moderately differ­entiated squamous cell carcinoma. Skin bi­opsy was consistent with DLE. He was clini­cally staged as T2 N3. M o (UICC, 1982) .

  Comments Top

Previous reports of squamous cell carci­noma have been in cases of long standing DLE. The shortest duration on record is in a farmer who developed it a year after the on­set of DLE[1]. To the best of our this is the first report of early malignant transformation from India. The early onset of malignancy in this patient may be related to his job as a health inspector necessitating frequent prolonged exposure to sunlight. Heavy smoking was perhaps a contributing factor. It is suggested that the production of skin cancer by ultravio­let light is initiated by repair of DNA but chances for subsequent errors in DNA repli­cation and a resultant greater potential for malignant transformation is present[2] Carcinomatous action of light may result from the formation of sterol derived carcinogenic substances such as cholesterol oxide[3] The evidence however, is inconclusive. Ultraviolet radiation may also influence the immune sys­tem to favour tumour growth by induction of a population of suppressor lymphoid cells which prevent an immune response against the UV transformed tumour cells.[2] Malignant transformation in DLE may be due to non­specific reasons as in cases of other chronic cicatrizing ulcers.[4]

Though early onset of malignancy in le­sions of chronic DLE is very rare it is likely to occur with intense and prolonged exposure to sunlight.

  References Top

1.Squamous cell carcinoma in discoid lupus erythematosus - RAK KOLCZYSTOKOMORKOWYW OGNISKU LISZAJA RU MIENIOWATEGO PRZEWLEKLEGO Gwiezdzinski Z and Szyszymar 0 Stud. Doskonal Lek, Bydgoszez PRZEGL DERM 1972 59/1 37-41; In: Excerpta Medica Dermatology and Venereology, 1973; 27: 360, 2247.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Parrish JA and Pathak MA :Photomedicine, in : Dermatology in General Medicine. Seconded, Editors, Fitzpatrick TB, Elsen AZ,Wolff, Klaus et al : Mc Graw Hill Book Company, New York, 1979; 942-994.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.LO WB and Black HS. Formation of cholesterol derived photoproducts in human skin. J Invest Dermatol, 1972;58: 278-283.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Allen AC. Skin; in: Anderson's Pathology Vol.11. 8th edition: Editor Kissane JM. St.Louis: The CV Mosby Company, 1985; P 1587.  Back to cited text no. 4    

This article has been cited by
1 Discoid lupus erythematosus leading to squamous cell carcinoma
Grover, S., Murthy, P.S., Rajagopal, R., Jalpota, Y.P., Sudha, K.V.
Medical Journal Armed Forces India. 2007; 63(2): 184-185


Print this article  Email this article
Previous article Next article


Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow