A new test can help guide care and treatment for those with squamous cell skin cancer.

Miami Cancer Institute is one of the first healthcare facilities in the area to use this genomic testing to help predict the likelihood squamous cell skin cancer will spread or metastasize. The test is called DecisionDx-SCC.

Squamous cell cancer (SCC) is one of the most common forms of skin cancer. It occurs when DNA triggers mutations that cause your skin cells to multiply rapidly and form cancerous tumors. If caught early, squamous cell cancer is often treated successfully. In some cases, SCC begins to grow aggressively or metastasize and spread to other areas of your body. The results can be disfiguring, dangerous and, in some cases, fatal.

The DecisionDx-SCC test identifies the probability your squamous cell tumors will metastasize within three years of the testing process. It classifies your results as low, moderate or high biological risk that your tumor will spread. Your physician can use the results to personalize your care plan and take preventive steps to protect your health when needed.

What is genomic testing?

Although the two are often confused, genomic testing is different than genetic testing. Genetic tests are designed to identify a single genetic mutation, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, for breast cancer testing. Genomic tests examine your entire genetic makeup. They outline your genetic structure, function and growth to offer insights into how your body works on a molecular level.

DecisionDx-SCC measures the biological activity of specific genes in your tumor. Test samples are taken from your original biopsy. No additional procedures are required. Results provide accurate, personalized information that helps guide the treatment and ongoing management of your cancer care plan.

Who is eligible for DecisionDx-SCC testing?

DecisionDx-SCC is not appropriate in all cases of squamous cell skin cancer. It does not replace traditional diagnostic testing; it is used in combination with other clinical information and test results.

Your physician will determine if testing is right for you based on your tumor's potential to grow or spread. Risk factors include:

  • A diagnosis of immunosuppression
  • A large tumor of 2 centimeters or more anywhere on your body
  • Deep tumors located under your subcutaneous fat
  • Tumors that develop in the “mask area” of your face
  • Tumors that grow aggressively
  • Tumors that have an abnormal size, shape or color compared to noncancerous cells, known as poorly differentiated tumors
  • Tumors with poorly defined borders

What are the benefits of DecisionDx-SCC?

Testing with DecisionDx-SCC in addition to traditional testing procedures offers many benefits, including:

  • Accurate, personalized information about your cancer risk
  • Test results that can be used with other clinical information for greater accuracy in predicting your risk
  • Treatment that can be tailored to your specific needs, from watchful waiting to more aggressive therapeutic intervention and follow-up care

If you have questions about DecisionDX-SCC, talk to your oncologist or another member of your cancer care team.

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