We report a case of squamous cell carcinoma of external auditory canal in an Omani man with oculocutaneous albinism. The disease mimicked inflammatory process revealing positive cultures for various microorganisms during the course of his illness. He was eventually biopsied to rule out atypical infective process or presence of malignancy. He was staged as T4N0M0 and treated with radical doses of palliative radiation therapy which was very well tolerated and resulted in a complete resolution of disease clinically and a major soft tissue response on radiological imaging. Another unique finding was the absence of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) protein overexpression in the tumour specimen. More than 90% of mucosal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) involving the head and neck region overexpress the EGFR protein in normal skin patients. SCC is the predominant cutaneous malignancy in albinos, and the presence of EGFR protein overexpression in cutaneous SCC is believed to be 56-58% in normal skin patients. The scientific literature is scarce on reporting incidence of EGFR overexpression in either cutaneous or mucosal SCC in albinos, and it remains to be defined whether being albino is the cause for its absence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas