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2009 | 81 | 9 | 414-418

Article title

Marjolin's Ulcer - Case Report and Literature Review


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We report squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) arising within a burn scar. The eponym "Marjolin's ulcer" was derived from a French surgeon Jean Nicholas Marjolin, who observed and classified cellular changes in burned skin and coined the term "ulcere cancroide". We review literature and current diagnostic modalities and treatment of this not so uncommon disease.The pathophysiology of Marjolin's ulcer is unclear. Two per cent of skin malignancies are estimated to arise within burn scars. According to concurrent epidemiological analyses, squamous cell carcinoma is the most frequent malignancy to arise within burned/chronically wounded skin (75-96%), followed by basal cell carcinoma (12%), melanoma (3%), sarcoma (isolated cases).If Marjolin's ulcer diagnosis is established, wide local excision (at least 2 cm lateral margins) comprising fascia should be performed. The wound could be closed with transposed cutaneo-subcutaneous flap or with free flap. Long term treatment outcome is relatively good, but strict and prolonged follow-up is mandatory.









Physical description


1 - 9 - 2009
4 - 9 - 2009


  • Departament of Surgical Oncology, M. Skłodowska-Curie Memorial Institute of Oncology, Cracow
  • Departament of Surgical Oncology, M. Skłodowska-Curie Memorial Institute of Oncology, Cracow
  • Departament of Surgical Oncology, M. Skłodowska-Curie Memorial Institute of Oncology, Cracow


  • Aydogdu E, Yildirim S, Akoz T: Is sugery an effective and adequate treatment in advanced Marjolin ulcer? Burns 2005; 31: 421-31.
  • Cobey FC, Engrav LH, Klein MB et al.: Brief Report: Sentinel lymph node dissection and burn scar carcinoma. Burns 2008; 34: 271-74.[WoS]
  • Mahlon A, Kian S, Brooks HR et al.: Marjolin's Ulcer: Modern Analysis of an Ancient Problem. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2009; 123: 1.[WoS]
  • Koval-Vern A, Criswell BK: Burn scar neoplasm: A literature review and statistical analysis. Burns 2005; 31: 403-13.
  • Dupree MT, Boyer JD, Cobb MW: Marjolin's ulcer arising in a burn scar. Cutis Jul 1998; 62: 1 s. 49.
  • Hatzis GP, Finn R: Marjolin's Ulcer: A Review of the Literature and Report of a Unique Patient Treated With a CO2 Laser. J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2007; 65: 2099-2105.
  • Phillips TJ, Salman SM, Bhawan J et al.: Burn scar carcinoma. Dermatol Surg 1998; 24: 561-65.
  • Agullo J, Santillan AA, Miller WT : Marjolin ulcer (Imege of the month). Arch Surg 2006; 141: 1143-44.
  • National Cancer Institutes website, Skin Cancer.
  • Ozek C, Celik N, Bilkay U et al.: Marjolin's Ulcer of the Scalp: report of 5 Cases and Review of the Literature. J Burn Care & Rehabilitation 2001; 22: 65.

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Publication order reference


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