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Phenotypic cytoskeletal heterogeneity in melanoma, a challenge to the surgical pathologist evaluating a poorly differentiated neoplasm: an illustrative case.

Authors
  • Allen, B C
  • Herrera, G A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Ultrastructural pathology
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1991
Volume
15
Issue
1
Pages
87–97
Identifiers
PMID: 1707194
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Characterization of poorly differentiated neoplasms can be a challenging task for the surgical pathologist. It is essential that the entire spectrum of immunomorphologic findings of various tumors be recognized to avoid improper characterization of a given neoplasm, which may in turn adversely affect patient management. Tumor characterization is complicated by the immunomorphologic transformations that malignant cells may undergo by virtue of which they may depart from expression of expected features and acquire new, unexpected characteristics. Traditionally, amelanotic melanomas have been difficult to characterize because of the diversity of their light microscopic morphology (epithelioid, spindle, and combined varieties). As a result, several other neoplasms are usually considered in the differential diagnosis. This report describes a primarily spindle-cell amelanotic melanoma that created a diagnostic dilemma, which could only be resolved by combining the information obtained from extensive evaluation by means of several diagnostic techniques. This case also stresses the phenotypic heterogeneity of the cytoskeleton of malignant melanomas and therefore their varied immunomorphologic characteristics.

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