Sumaira Z. Aasi, M.D., is a Professor of Dermatology and Director of Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery. Dr. Aasi completed a fellowship in Mohs micrographic surgery and cutaneous oncology at Yale University where she was on faculty and served as Associate Chief. Dr. Aasi helped train fellows in Mohs and Micrographic Surgery for over ten years. She has served on the Board of Directors of the American College of Mohs Surgery. Her clinical interests include management of high risk nonmelanoma skin cancers, Mohs histopathology, and reconstructive surgery.
- Cancer > Cutaneous (Dermatologic) Oncology
- Dermatologic Surgery
- Mohs Micrographic Surgery
- Melanoma and Skin Cancer
- Skin oncology in transplant patients
- Laser Surgery
Honors & Awards
Distinguished Service Award, American College of Mohs Surgery (2013)
Connecticut Magazine Top Doctors, Connecticut Magazine (2011)
Connecticut Magazine Top Doctors, Connecticut Magazine (2010)
Connecticut Magazine Top Doctors, Connecticut Magazine (2009)
Connecticut Magazine Top Doctors, Connecticut Magazine (2008)
Connecticut Magazine Top Doctors, Connecticut Magazine (2007)
Connecticut Magazine Top Doctors, Connecticut Magazine (2006)
Cutting Edge Research Grant Award, American Society of Dermatologic Surgery` (2003)
Fellowship:Yale University (2002) CT
Board Certification: Dermatology, American Board of Dermatology (2001)
Residency:Northwestern Univ - McGaw Medical Center (2001) IL
Internship:University of Chicago Hospitals (1998) IL
Medical Education:Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (1997) IL
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
High risk squamous cell carcinoma; frozen histopathology; reconstructive surgery.
A Study of Vismodegib With Surgery in Participants With Previously Untreated Basal Cell Carcinoma
This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study will assess the efficacy and safety of vismodegib with surgery in participants with basal cell carcinoma.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Irene Bailey-Healy, 408-892-7261.
Analysis of Cutaneous and Hematologic Disorders by High-Throughput Nucleic Acid Sequencing
The goal of this study is to identify genetic changes associated with the initiation, progression, and treatment response of response of cutaneous and hematologic disorders using recently developed high-throughput sequencing technologies. The improved understanding of the genetic changes associated with cutaneous and hematologic disorders may lead to improved diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic options for these disorders.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Alexander Ungewickell, 650-723-6661.
Vismodegib in Treating Patients With Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)
The purpose of this study is to learn about the effect of vismodegib on sporadic basal cell carcinoma (BCCs) prior to surgical removal.
Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Irene Bailey, 650-721-7149.
Node-positive cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: Survival, high-risk features, and adjuvant chemoradiotherapy outcomes.
Head & neck
Data lacks to guide treatment of regionally metastatic cutaneous head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).We conducted a retrospective review of 80 patients treated for regionally metastatic cutaneous HNSCC. The effect of various clinicopathologic variables on overall survival (OS) was investigated, in addition to outcomes by treatment modality.On multivariate regression, cutaneous primary >2 cm (p = .03) and extracapsular spread (ECS; p = .01) were significantly associated with decreased OS. Location of regional metastasis (neck vs parotid vs both) had no effect on OS (p = .2), nor did the presence of a cutaneous primary at the time of presentation (p = .9). The 3-year survival was 43%, 52%, and 49% for surgery alone, adjuvant radiation, and adjuvant chemoradiation, respectively. Fifty-one percent of patients had a recurrence of their disease.Regionally metastatic cutaneous HNSCC is an aggressive disease associated with high recurrence rates. Patients with tumors >2 cm and ECS have poorer OS despite adjuvant therapy. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 39: 881-885, 2017.
View details for DOI 10.1002/hed.24692
View details for PubMedID 28252823
Classification of basal cell carcinoma in human skin using machine learning and quantitative features captured by polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography.
Biomedical optics express
2016; 7 (9): 3721-3735
We report the first fully automated detection of basal cell carcinoma (BCC), the most commonly occurring type of skin cancer, in human skin using polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT). Our proposed automated procedure entails building a machine-learning based classifier by extracting image features from the two complementary image contrasts offered by PS-OCT, intensity and phase retardation (PR), and selecting a subset of features that yields a classifier with the highest accuracy. Our classifier achieved 95.4% sensitivity and specificity, validated by leave-one-patient-out cross validation (LOPOCV), in detecting BCC in human skin samples collected from 42 patients. Moreover, we show the superiority of our classifier over the best possible classifier based on features extracted from intensity-only data, which demonstrates the significance of PR data in detecting BCC.
View details for PubMedID 27699133
- Classification of basal cell carcinoma in human skin using machine learning and quantitative features captured by polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography BIOMEDICAL OPTICS EXPRESS 2016; 7 (9): 3721-3735
Management of High-Risk Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Skin.
Current treatment options in oncology
2016; 17 (7): 34-?
Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is the most common malignancy in the USA, with cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (cSCCs) constituting approximately 20 % of all NMSC. While cSCCs typically behave in an indolent fashion and can be cured with local destructive or surgical methods, a small subset metastasizes and induces significant morbidity and mortality. Identifying and aggressively treating these "high-risk" cSCCs (HRcSCCs) is thus paramount. Recent improvements in staging cSCCs appear to offer better risk stratification than earlier staging criteria. Radiologic imaging and sentinel lymph node biopsy may be beneficial in certain cases of HRcSCC, although more studies are needed before these techniques should be uniformly incorporated into management. Surgery with complete margin control, such as that offered by the Mohs micrographic technique, represents the first-line treatment for these tumors. Radiation therapy is likely most beneficial in the adjuvant setting. Chemotherapy is typically best reserved for patients with metastatic or locally advance disease that is not controllable with surgical and/or radiation therapies. Newer targeted treatments, such as EGFR inhibitors and immunotherapies may offer greater efficacy in these settings, although further evaluation is needed.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s11864-016-0408-2
View details for PubMedID 27262708
Basal Cell Skin Cancer, Version 1.2016
JOURNAL OF THE NATIONAL COMPREHENSIVE CANCER NETWORK
2016; 14 (5): 574-596
View details for Web of Science ID 000375888500012
- Skin Cancer Prevention and Treatment in Solid Organ Transplant Patients: A Survey of the International Transplant Skin Cancer Collaborative. Dermatologic surgery 2016; 42 (5): 682-683
- Histopathologic assessment of depth of follicular invasion of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in situ (SCCis): Implications for treatment approach JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY 2016; 74 (2): 356-362
- An investigator-initiated open-label clinical trial of vismodegib as a neoadjuvant to surgery for high-risk basal cell carcinoma JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY 2014; 71 (5): 904-U304
An investigator-initiated open-label clinical trial of vismodegib as a neoadjuvant to surgery for high-risk basal cell carcinoma.
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
2014; 71 (5): 904-911 e1
Vismodegib is an oral hedgehog-pathway inhibitor approved for advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Although most BCCs are amenable to surgery, excision of large tumors in aesthetically sensitive sites may compromise function or cosmesis.We sought to evaluate the reduction in BCC surgical defect area after 3 to 6 months of neoadjuvant vismodegib.This was an open-label, single-arm intervention trial with a primary outcome of change in target-tumor surgical defect area pre- and post-vismodegib (150 mg/d). Secondary outcomes were change in tumor area and tolerability.Eleven of 15 enrolled patients, aged 39 to 100 years, completed the trial. Thirteen target tumors were excised after a mean of 4±2 months of vismodegib. In all, 29% (4 of 14 patients) could not complete more than 3 months because of vismodegib-related side effects. The mean baseline target-tumor diameter was 3.2 cm, and 10 of 13 tumors occurred on the face. Overall, vismodegib reduced the surgical defect area by 27% (95% confidence interval -45.7% to -7.9%; P=.006) from baseline. Vismodegib was not effective in patients who received less than 3 months. Over a mean follow-up of 11.5 (range 4-21) months for all tumors, only 1 tumor recurred at 17 months post-Mohs micrographic surgery.Short follow-up time and no placebo control are limitations.Neoadjuvant vismodegib appears to reduce surgical defect area when taken for 3 months or longer for nonrecurrent BCCs in functionally sensitive locations. Further studies with larger sample sizes and long-term follow-up are warranted.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaad.2014.05.020
View details for PubMedID 24929884
- Recurrent point mutations in the kinetochore gene KNSTRN in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma NATURE GENETICS 2014; 46 (10): 1060-1062
Recurrent point mutations in the kinetochore gene KNSTRN in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
2014; 46 (10): 1060-1062
Here we report the discovery of recurrent mutations concentrated at an ultraviolet signature hotspot in KNSTRN, which encodes a kinetochore protein, in 19% of cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). Cancer-associated KNSTRN mutations, most notably those encoding p.Ser24Phe, disrupt chromatid cohesion in normal cells, occur in SCC precursors, correlate with increased aneuploidy in primary tumors and enhance tumorigenesis in vivo. These findings suggest a role for KNSTRN mutagenesis in SCC development.
View details for DOI 10.1038/ng.3091
View details for PubMedID 25194279
- Single-stage turn-over muscular hinge flap with Burow's full-thickness skin graft to repair oral commissure defect. Dermatologic surgery 2013; 39 (10): 1530-1534
- Comment on basal cell carcinoma rebound after cessation of vismodegib in an individual with basal cell nevus syndrome. Dermatologic surgery 2013; 39 (9): 1413-1414
- Update on metastatic basal cell carcinoma: a summary of published cases from 1981 through 2011. JAMA dermatology 2013; 149 (5): 615-616
- New Onset of Keratoacanthomas After Vismodegib Treatment for Locally Advanced Basal Cell Carcinomas: A Report of 2 Cases JAMA DERMATOLOGY 2013; 149 (2): 242-243
Atlas of Practical Mohs Histopathology
View details for DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-5161-7
- Is Tanning Bed Exposure Associated With Aggressive Basal Cell Carcinoma? JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY 2012; 30 (32): E333-E336
Hemorrhagic complications in dermatologic surgery
2011; 24 (6): 537-550
The ability to recognize, manage, and, most importantly, prevent hemorrhagic complications is critical to performing dermatologic procedures that have safe and high quality outcomes. This article reviews the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative factors and patient dynamics that are central to preventing such an adverse outcome. Specifically, the role that anticoagulants and anti-platelet agents, hypertension, and other medical conditions play in the development of postoperative hemorrhage are discussed. In addition, this article provides practical guidelines on managing bleeding during and after surgery.
View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1529-8019.2012.01454.x
View details for Web of Science ID 000303004600004
View details for PubMedID 22515669
Cosmetic concerns and management strategies to combat aging
2011; 70 (3): 256-260
Multiple modalities with varying degrees of complexity and risks exist in the treatment of the aging face. Paramount to all treatment paradigms is photoprotection to prevent further damage. Intervetions should be geared towards addressing the intrinsic and extrinsic signs of aging and can include topical retinoid therapy, superficial chemical and laser resurfacing, botulinum toxin and soft tissue fillers. The combination of these primary, secondary, and tertiary therapies will address the underlying pathophysiologic changes of the aging face and thus will provide the optimal aesthetic outcome.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.maturitas.2011.07.020
View details for Web of Science ID 000296684900009
View details for PubMedID 21873005
- Cancer of the skin Cancer Principles and Practice of Oncology 2011; 9: 1610-1633
- Melanoma and Non-melanoma Skin Cancer Dermatology A Pictorial Review 2010; 2: 193-206
- Commentary: Expanding the Donor Site Options for Full-Thickness Skin Grafts Dermatol Surg. 2010; 36: 532-533
Z-plasty made simple.
Dermatology research and practice
2010; 2010: 982623-?
A Z-plasty is a critical and reliable technique that is useful for scar revisions and correction of free margin distortion. A Z-plasty can help lengthen a contracted scar, change the direction of a scar so that it is better aligned with the relaxed skin tension lines, or interrupt and break a scar for better camouflage. This article will review the technique of a basic Z-plasty as well as provide case examples of its use in free margin distortion and scar revision.
View details for DOI 10.1155/2010/982623
View details for PubMedID 21789038
Mohs micrographic surgery histopathology concordance
Annual Meeting of the American-College-of-Mohs-Micrographic-Surgery-and-Cutaneous-Oncology
MOSBY-ELSEVIER. 2009: 94–98
The low recurrence rate and tissue-sparing benefit associated with Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) requires accurate interpretation of frozen sections by the MMS surgeon.We sought to assess concordance between dermatopathologists and MMS surgeons when reporting cutaneous malignancy in the MMS setting.This study is a retrospective analysis of 1156 slides submitted during 10 years as part of a pre-existing randomized, blinded, quality assurance protocol. Slides were read by one of 5 dermatopathologists and represent cases from 3 MMS surgeons and 5 MMS fellows. Agreement or disagreement was recorded.Of the 1156 slides, 32 slides (2.8%) were disparate. Aside from differences regarding intraepidermal neoplasia, the concordance rate was 99.7%.This study represents data collected at a single institution in the United States alone.There was statistically significant concordance between MMS surgeons and dermatopathologists in frozen section interpretation in the MMS setting. Discordance was primarily related to the interpretation of in situ malignancy.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaad.2008.09.061
View details for Web of Science ID 000262261700010
View details for PubMedID 19103361
- Skin cancer prevention and photo protection in organ transplant recipients Skin Diseases in Organ Transplantation 2008: 295-301
- Dermatologic surgery: introduction to anatomy and approach Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine 2008; 7: 2289-2301
- Free margin distortion Complications in Cutaneous Surgery 2008: 95-114
- Cancer of the skin Cancer Principles and Practice of Oncology 2008; 8: 863-1888
- Dermatologic diseases and disorders Geriatrics Review Syllabus 2006; 6: 309-319
Multiple facial angiofibromas: A cutaneous manifestation of Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome
Meeting of the New-England-Dermatological-Society
MOSBY-ELSEVIER. 2005: S108–S111
Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHDS) is an uncommon autosomal dominant genodermatosis characterized by a triad of skin tumors--fibrofolliculomas, trichodiscomas, and acrochordons--together with an increased risk of renal tumors and spontaneous pneumothoraces. This report describes multiple facial angiofibromas as the predominant initial manifestation of BHDS. The patient had a total of 41 facial papules removed via shave excision, initially for diagnostic and then for therapeutic purposes; histologic evaluation revealed diagnostic features of angiofibroma in 39 lesions and fibrofolliculoma in only 2. BHDS should be considered, along with tuberous sclerosis and multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, in the differential diagnosis of multiple facial angiofibromas, particularly when onset is in adulthood.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaad.2004.11.021
View details for Web of Science ID 000231081400003
View details for PubMedID 16021156
Bilobed transposition flap
2005; 23 (1): 55-?
This article reviews the indications and techniques for performing a bilobed flap for reconstruction of surgical wounds. Various examples of surgical defects where a bilobed flap can be used are shown. Possible complications and pitfalls are also reviewed.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.det.2004.08.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000226324900006
View details for PubMedID 15620619
- Cancer of the skin Cancer Principles and Practice of Oncology 2005; 7: 1717-1744
- Ellipse, ellipse variations and dog-ear repairs Surgery of the Skin 2005: 259-272
Idiopathic eruptive macular pigmentation: A case of 21 years' duration
JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY
2003; 49 (5): S280-S282
Idiopathic eruptive macular pigmentation is a rare condition characterized by asymptomatic pigmented macules involving the neck, trunk, and proximal portions of the extremities. Age at onset usually varies from 1 to 20 years. The lesions usually appear abruptly and remit spontaneously over months to years. An unusual case of a 24-year-old woman with idiopathic eruptive macular pigmentation lasting 21 years was characterized by several periods of spontaneous resolution followed by recurrences.
View details for DOI 10.1067/S0190-9622(03)00745-X
View details for Web of Science ID 000186362900017
View details for PubMedID 14576654
- Complications in dermatologic surgery - How safe is safe? ARCHIVES OF DERMATOLOGY 2003; 139 (2): 213-214
- Dermatologic diseases and disorders Geriatrics Review Syllabus 2002; 5: 390-399
- Aquagenic palmoplantar keratoderma J Am Acad Dermatol 2001: 696-699
- Autoantibodies to type VII collagen have heterogeneous subclass and light chain compositions and their complement-activating capacities do not correlate with the inflammatory clinical phenotype. J Clinical Immunol. 2000; 20: 416-423
- Successful correction of depressed scars of the forehead secondary to trauma and morpheme en coup de saber by autologous free dermal-fat graft. Dermatol Surg. 2000: 793-796