Fluorescence in situ hybridization for ambiguous melanocytic tumors

Gammon, B.; Gerami, P.

Histol Histopathol. 2012 Oct 13; 27(12):1539-42


The large majority of melanocytic lesions can be reliably classified as either benign or malignant based upon morphology alone, but a minority of lesions remains difficult to classify by traditional histologic methods. Recently, a panel of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probes targeting loci on chromosomes 6 and 11 has emerged as a powerful tool to discriminate melanoma from nevi. This has been validated in numerous difficult diagnostic scenarios. In addition, this same FISH panel has been shown to provide independent prognostic information in traditional melanomas. There is accumulating evidence that FISH targeting these loci as well as several other key chromosomal loci such as 9p21 and 8q24 can provide valuable prognostic information in histologically ambiguous melanocytic tumors. However, since the vast majority of atypical spitz tumors have an indolent course, larger studies including adequate numbers of cases with adverse events is necessary to provide sufficient proof of its role in clinically relevant cases. In this review, we discuss the current literature and studies to date on this topic.

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