Dermatology, Data and Informatics AND High-Risk Skin Cancer

Vol. 38. No. 1



The ability to capture, store, and analyze vast amounts of data has revolutionized human endeavors, and medicine is no exception. Information technology has touched every aspect of medicine, and this influence will only grow over time. However, a clinical dermatologist in practice today only sees the surface of this influence, through interactions with electronic medical records or through patients bringing the results of Internet searches to their visits. He or she will often miss the vast underlying structures that gird our system, that spur its advances, and that will continue to change the way we care for our patients. In this issue, we hope to shed light on these underlying methods, detailing the various roles of information technology in dermatology and what may lie ahead.


The majority of nonmelanoma skin cancers have excellent prognosis and are effectively treated with local, minimally invasive surgical or destructive techniques. However, the rising incidence of skin cancer combined with lengthened survival of the elderly, immunosuppressed, and at-risk populations has resulted in an increasing number of locally advanced, regional, and distantly metastatic disease. This subset of high-risk cases results in significant morbidity and mortality. As experts in skin cancers, dermatologists are at the forefront of the diagnosis, management, and investigation of novel therapies. Accurate diagnosis, risk stratification, staging, and a multidisciplinary approach are critical for optimizing patient outcome. Thank you to our colleagues in medical, surgical, and radiation oncology for the collaborative care of our most challenging patients.
In recent years, the development of targeted molecular therapy and immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment of locally advanced and metastatic disease. I would like to thank the contributing authors for summarizing the advances in the field and providing us with knowledge regarding the management of high-risk skin cancer patients.