Klara Mosterd, MD and colleagues at Maastricht University in the Netherlands recently published just such a study. Over 400 patients were treated with either of the two techniques and then followed for five years. The results showed that Mohs surgery is more effective than surgical excision for the treatment of recurrent BCC on the face, since there were significantly fewer recurrences. However, because there was no significant difference in recurrence of primary BCC between the two groups, treatment with surgical excision is probably sufficient in most cases of primary BCC.
Although this is just one study, it's a potentially important one for public policy. Excision is less expensive than Mohs, so in this age of tightening health care costs, it could be used more often to treat certain types of basal cell carcinoma in the future.
Mosterd K, Krekels GA, Nieman FH, et al. "Surgical excision versus Mohs' micrographic surgery for primary and recurrent basal-cell carcinoma of the face: a prospective randomised controlled trial with 5-years' follow-up." 2008. Lancet Oncol 9(12):1149-56. 27 December 2008.