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The importance of caregivers for patients with advanced basal cell carcinoma treated with hedgehog-pathway inhibitors: an observational prospective study.

Oral targeted therapy with hedgehog pathway inhibitors has revolutionized the standard of care for patients with advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC). These patients are frail and elderly, have various comorbidities, and receive pharmacological polytherapy. Moreover, adverse events may have a significant impact on therapeutic adherence, which must be managed by the clinician. We evaluated the impact of caregivers on the treatment of patients with advanced BCC in terms of continuation of therapy over time. All patients included in this observational prospective study had histologically confirmed metastatic or locally advanced BCC (LaBCC) and were treated with hedgehog pathway inhibitors from January 2016 to December 2021 at the Department of Dermatology at the University of Florence, Italy. The collected patient data included: age, sex, BCC site and area of spread; number of cycles, dose, duration and tolerability of therapy; marital status (single, divorced, married/living with a partner, widow/widower); and information such as living with someone, and the presence of any caregivers. Of the 34 patients included, 33 had LaBCC and one metastatic BCC. There were 11 females (32.4%) and 23 males (67.6%). Patients who were married or living with a caregiver -tolerated therapy better than single patients who lived alone. Indeed, patients with married/live-in caregivers and/or those with an adequate caregiver experienced greater therapeutic adherence and tolerance of adverse events. Given the greater therapeutic adherence of patients with live-in caregivers as partners, it is essential to consider patients' marital status. It is advisable to involve the caregiver early on, and there should be a training discussion on the various possible adverse events and the best way to mitigate them. Therapeutic success is linked not only to patients being informed but also to training of caregivers.

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