Studies have shown that atypical Spitz tumors (ASTs) with homozygous deletions in 9p21 have worse prognosis than those without this finding. Conversely, numerous studies have shown that a range of other copy number aberrations including isolated 6q23 or 3p21 loss may be seen in ASTs without conferring higher risk for aggressive behavior. We studied 31 cases of ASTs with heterozygous 9p21 loss and hypothesize that heterozygous 9p21 loss in ASTs does not confer an increased risk for aggressive behavior. We compared clinical, histopathologic, and immunohistochemical features of 31 ASTs with heterozygous 9p21 deletions with 30 ASTs with homozygous 9p21 deletions. No ASTs with heterozygous 9p21 deletions resulted in distant metastasis. Severe cytologic atypia, a predominance of epithelioid cytomorphology and increased dermal mitotic activity were more frequent in ASTs with homozygous deletions versus ASTs with heterozygous deletions (P = 0.0003, 0.0004, and 0.042, respectively). Expression of p16 and mutated BRAFV600E proteins was also evaluated in 17 conventional (nonspitzoid) melanomas with homozygous 9p21 loss and the 2 groups of ASTs. Expression of p16 was retained in 67% of ASTs with heterozygous loss, whereas among ASTs with homozygous loss, 100% of cases had areas with complete loss of staining. Mutated BRAFV600E protein expression was detected in 53% of conventional melanomas, in none of the ASTs with heterozygous loss, and in 1 AST with homozygous loss (P= 0.0007 between homozygous ASTs and the conventional melanomas). Coexisting BRAF mutation and 9p21 deletion was more common in conventional melanomas than in ASTs with heterozygous or homozygous 9p21 deletion. BRAF mutation was highly uncommon among the ASTs.
- Atypical nevi
- Spitz nevi
- Spitz tumor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine