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ALK-fused spitzoid neoplasms represent a distinctive group of melanocytic lesions. To date, few studies addressed genetic and chromosomal alterations in these lesions beyond the ALK rearrangements. Our objective was to study genetic alterations, including ALK gene fusions, telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter (TERT-p) mutations, chromosomal copy number changes, and mutations in other genes. We investigated 29 cases of Spitz lesions (11 Spitz nevi and 18 atypical Spitz tumors), all of which were ALK immunopositive. There were 16 female and 13 male patients, with age ranging from 1 to 43 years (mean, 18.4 years). The most common location was the lower extremity. Microscopically, all neoplasms were polypoid or dome shaped with a plexiform, predominantly dermally located proliferation of fusiform to spindled melanocytes with mild to moderate pleomorphism. The break-apart test for ALK was positive in 17 of 19 studied cases. ALK fusions were detected in 23 of 26 analyzable cases by Archer FusionPlex Solid Tumor Kit. In addition to the previously described rearrangements, 3 novel fusions, namely, KANK1-ALK, MYO5A-ALK, and EEF2-ALK, were found. Fluorescence in situ hybridization for copy number changes yielded one case with the loss of RREB1 among 21 studied cases. TERT-p hotspot mutation was found in 1 of 23 lesions. The mutation analysis of 271 cancer-related genes using Human Comprehensive Cancer Panel was performed in 4 cases and identified in each case mutations in several genes with unknown significance, except for a pathogenic variant in the BLM gene. Our study confirms that most ALK fusion spitzoid neoplasms can be classified as atypical Spitz tumors, which occurs in young patients with acral predilection and extends the spectrum of ALK fusions in spitzoid lesions, including 3 hitherto unreported fusions. TERT-p mutations and chromosomal copy number changes involving 6p25 (RRB1), 11q13 (CCND1), 6p23 (MYB), 9p21 (CDKN2A), and 8q24 (MYC) are rare in these lesions. The significance of mutation in other genes remains unknown.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: The American Journal of dermatopathology
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Clinically atypical nevi (usually exceeding 5 mm in diameter and having variable pigmentation and ill defined borders) with an increased risk for development of non-familial cutaneous malignant melanoma. Biopsies show melanocytic dysplasia. Nevi are clinically and histologically identical to the precursor lesions for melanoma in the B-K mole syndrome. (Stedman, 25th ed)
A form of pigmented nevus showing intense melanocytic activity around the dermo-epidermal junction. Large numbers of spindle-shaped melanocytes proliferate downward toward the dermis and usually a large amount of pigment is present. It was first described in 1976 and the bulk of patients reported have been young females with the lesions presenting on the thighs. (From Rook et al., Textbook of Dermatology, 4th ed, 1992, p185)
The GENETIC RECOMBINATION of the parts of two or more GENES, including an ONCOGENE as at least one of the fusion partners. Such gene fusions are often detected in neoplastic cells and are transcribed into ONCOGENE FUSION PROTEINS.
A bluish-gray to gray-brown benign, melanocytic nevus found usually in the LUMBOSACRAL REGION of dark-skinned people, especially those of East Asian ancestry. It is usually congenital or appears shortly after birth, and disappears in childhood.
A technique encompassing morphometry, densitometry, neural networks, and expert systems that has numerous clinical and research applications and is particularly useful in anatomic pathology for the study of malignant lesions. The most common current application of image cytometry is for DNA analysis, followed by quantitation of immunohistochemical staining.
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