A single-institution assessment of superficial spreading melanoma (SSM) in the pediatric population: Molecular and histopathologic features compared with adult SSM

Anna Elisa Verzì, Jeffrey A. Bubley, Alexandra M. Haugh, Bin Zhang, Annette Wagner, Lacey Lea Kruse, Dennis P West, Jeffrey D Wayne, Joan Guitart, Pedram Gerami*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background The epidemiology of pediatric melanoma is distinct from that seen in adults. This is more distinguishable when pediatric patients are separated into prepubertal and adolescent groups. Objective In this study, we compared epidemiologic, clinical, histologic, and molecular characteristics of pediatric superficial spreading melanoma (SSM) in prepubertal and adolescent patients to that in adults. Method We reviewed our database for pediatric melanomas, comparing SSM data between pediatric and adult cases for pathologic stage at presentation, ratio of radial to vertical growth phase, average Breslow depth and mitotic index, and frequency of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) positivity. Results Of 84 pediatric melanomas, 38 were SSM, and 5 of the latter (6%) were prepubertal. There were no significant differences when pediatric and adult SSM were compared for stage at presentation, ratio of radial to vertical growth phase, average Breslow depth and mitotic count, or frequency of FISH positivity. A significant difference was detected for SSM arising from a precursor nevus (80% of pediatric cases versus 30% of adult cases). Limitations Follow-up time was limited for both cohorts. Conclusions SSM melanoma is infrequent in childhood, particularly in the prepubertal years. Features such as tumor stage, Breslow depth, mitotic activity, and FISH positivity suggest morphologic and molecular characteristics similar to those of adult SSM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)886-892
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Volume77
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

Keywords

  • adolescent
  • children
  • FISH
  • radial growth phase
  • superficial spreading melanoma
  • vertical growth phase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology

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