Printer Friendly

Correlation between histologic assessment and fluorescence in situ hybridization using MelanoSITE in evaluation of histologically ambiguous melanocytic lesions.

Recent advances in understanding the molecular pathogenesis of melanocytic proliferations have revealed many genetic differences between benign nevi and melanoma that could serve as potential targets for developing molecular diagnostic tests. Most benign nevi appear to be driven by point mutations in selected oncogenes but only exceptionally rarely show gross chromosomal abnormalities.1 In contrast, tumor progression from a nevus to melanoma is associated with chromosomal instability resulting in gains, amplifications, and/or losses of specific chromosomal material, which can be detected by genetic techniques. (2,3)

These findings laid the foundation for the development of the first 4-probe fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) test for melanoma, currently commercialized by Abbott Molecular (Abbott Park, Illinois). This test was a subject of our recent comprehensive review. (4) The FISH probes used in this assay target ras responsive element binding protein 1 (RREB1, 6p25), myeloblastosis viral oncogene homolog (MYB, 6q23), Cen6 (centromere 6) and cyclin D1 (CCND1, 11q13) loci. (5) Validation studies performed in academic centers determinedbasic protocols andsignalcutoffs. (5) They demonstrated that 4-probe FISH for melanoma can achieve sensitivity and specificity as high as 86.7% and 95.4%, respectively, in distinguishing unequivocal melanoma from benign nevi. (6)

Several proof-of-principle studies showed potential applications of FISH to solve a variety of diagnostic dilemmas in the evaluation of melanocytic tumors, including differentiating blue nevus-like metastasis from blue nevus, mitotically active nevus from nevoid melanoma, and dysplastic nevus from superficial spreading melanoma. (7-12) Fluorescence in situ hybridization test abnormalities characteristic of melanoma were identified in lentiginous melanoma supporting this entity as a variant of melanoma. (12) These studies compared unequivocal benign and malignant counterparts; the signal cutoffs established in the validation studies showed similar test performance in most, but not all, diagnostic situations. For instance, using those cutoffs, FISH test results are abnormal in only 50% of desmoplastic melanomas. (13)

Early retrospective studies have shown correlation between the metastatic behavior among histologically ambiguous melanocytic lesions and the FISH results. (5,14)

Outside of the United States, the Abbott Molecular melanoma FISH assay is available as a diagnostic kit, and the test can be performed by pathologists in-house if the technical expertise and equipment are available. In the United States, at the time of this writing, this melanoma FISH test is only performed at academic centers originally involved in the development of the test (University of California, San Francisco; Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois; and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, New York). NeoGenomics Laboratories (Irvine, California) is the only commercial laboratory licensed to perform the technical component of the test. However, pathologists can interpret FISH results themselves using a Web-based portal for analysis and reporting FISH results. This service is marketed as MelanoSITE.

We began using MelanoSITE in our practices in August 2010, and since then, at the time of this writing, we have examined 140 histologically ambiguous melanocytic lesions. The objective of this article is to present the analysis of this material and to assess our experience with melanoma FISH using MelanoSITE critically.


The study was approved by the institutional review board at Lahey Clinic, Burlington, Massachusetts. The cases were collected in 3 different practice settings: 89 of the total 140 cases (63%) with histologically ambiguous melanocytic lesions were secondopinion consultations sent to Dr Zembowicz (A.Z., Boston, Massachusetts). Some aspects of this practice setting were recently reported. (15) The remaining cases were selected from routine accessions, including 15 cases (11%) from Lahey Clinic (Burlington, Massachusetts), a tertiary academic medical center serving New England rural and suburban communities, and 36 cases (26%) from Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates (Boston), a large multispecialty, outpatient medical practice with a large dermatology practice serving mostly urban and affluent suburban communities.

With the exception of 2 lesions that were earlier biopsies of a recurrent lesion and were reexamined retrospectively, FISH was requested as a part of a routine diagnostic workup of cases. The FISH test was initiated by A.Z. or S.R.L. after reviewing all the available, routine histologic material or, in rare cases, was requested by a submitting pathologist.

In all cases, preliminary diagnoses were rendered before sending a tissue for FISH analysis. In most cases, the histologic differential diagnosis was between Spitz nevus and spitzoid melanoma or between atypical nevus (such as variants of deep penetrating/clonal/inverted type-A nevus, pigmented spindle cell nevus, atypical genital nevus, atypical conjunctival nevus showing cytologic atypia, mitotic activity, limited maturation, or proliferative nodules, among others) and nevoid melanoma (Table 1). In some cases, diagnostic considerations included dysplastic nevus and superficial spreading melanoma. In 2 cases, FISH was performed to confirm a suspected but histologically challenging diagnosis of nonsarcomatoid desmoplastic melanoma. At the time of preliminary diagnosis, based on histologic features, each lesion was designated as likely representing an atypical nevus (favoring a benign type), a truly borderline lesion, or a melanoma. These designations reflect the most likely interpretation if FISH was not performed.

After FISH was interpreted, the lesions were reexamined, and the final diagnoses were rendered, taking into account all available information, including the FISH results.

Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization

Fluorescence in situ hybridization was performed at NeoGenomics Laboratories as described in the company's materials and a recent report. (16) Briefly, when FISH was considered, 8 additional, 5-[micro]m sections were cut. Two of those sections were stained with hematoxylin-eosin. The area of tumor to analyze was selected on the stained sections and sent together with the unstained sections to NeoGenomics Laboratories for analysis. After hybridization, the results were analyzed and quantified using MetaSystems (Boston) virtual slide imaging system. Each case was subjected to a quality-control process involving review of the data by a second NeoGenomics Laboratories technician. After quality-control signoff, data from the automatic data analysis and a panel of 4 nuclei selected by NeoGenomics Laboratories technicians were presented to the signing-out pathologist via the MelanoSITE portal. In cases showing abnormal or borderline results, and in cases where there was a discrepancy between FISH results and preliminary histologic interpretation, the original FISH data and images were reviewed by A.Z. In some cases, original FISH slides were also examined with a fluorescence microscope. Per NeoGenomics Laboratories recommendations, (16) FISH was considered abnormal if at least one of the following criteria was met: (1) more than 16% of the nuclei showed more than 2 signals for RREB1 (red probe), (2) the ratio of red signal (RREB1) to aqua signal (centromere 6) greater than 1 was observed in more than 53% of the nuclei, (3) the ratio of yellow signal (MYB) to aqua signal (centromere 6) less than 1 was observed in more than 42% of the nuclei, and (4) more than 19% of the nuclei showed more than 2 signals for CCND1 (green probe). With these cutoffs, MelanoSITE achieved 83.8% sensitivity and 98.1% specificity for detection of unequivocal melanoma in validation studies. (16)


The 4-probe FISH does not allow for definitive assessment of tetraploidy in cells. However, as recently discussed, (4,6,17) increased signals in all 4 probes are highly suggestive of balanced chromosomal duplications. Therefore, all cases with abnormal FISH were scrutinized for the presence of nuclei with increased FISH signals with all 4 probes. Using previously determined guidelines, (6,17) cells showing 3 or 4 copies of the targeted chromosomal loci with probes 6p25 (RREB1), 6q23 (MYB), and 11q13 (CCND1) were considered to likely be tetraploid and were rejected from the numeric analysis. Observation of 3 signals is sufficient because signals off the plane of section are often not visualized, particularly in large, spitzoid or epithelioid cells.

Statistical Analysis

Statistical significance between variables was assessed by [chi square] test with a post hoc Cramer V coefficient test to determine the strength of association. The Cramer V coefficient test result is close to 0 when there is little association between the variables; values close to 1 indicate the highest association. Values greater than .1 are generally thought a good minimum threshold for suggesting there is a substantive relationship between two variables.


Use of Melanoma FISH in Different Practice Settings

The 89 second-opinion consultations sent for FISH represented 2.3% of all cases reported at during the period of the study. The test was used even less in the routine practice settings. The FISH test was deemed potentially helpful in 0.23% of cases examined at an outpatient dermatopathology practice at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and in only 0.1% of cases seen at Lahey Clinic, a tertiary medical center dermatology practice.

Histopathology/FISH Correlation

Out of the 140 cases examined, at the time of preliminary diagnosis, a benign lesion (atypical nevus) was favored in 66 cases (47%). Malignant melanoma was favored in 27 cases (19%). In 47 cases (34%), a lesion was considered truly borderline.

In the histologically benign (atypical nevus) group, the initial MelanoSITE results were normal in 59 cases (89%). A representative lesion with a normal FISH test result is illustrated in Figure 1, A through D. MelanoSITE results were abnormal in 7 cases (11%). On manual rereview, 5 of the 7 cases (71%) were determined to be false-positive results because of tetraploidy, and 2 cases (29%) were rejected because of poor hybridization and/or the small number of nuclei enumerated. Thus, in none of the histologically benign lesions (0%) was the final FISH interpretation reported as an abnormal result.

In the histologically borderline group, the MelanoSITE results were initially reported as abnormal in 18 of the 47 cases (38%). Of those 18 lesions, 4 (22%) showed features consistent with tetraploidy, so the percentage of cases in this group with an abnormal final FISH interpretation was 30% (14 of 47). After post-FISH review, 10 of those 18 cases (56%) were reported as likely malignant melanoma. The remaining 4 of the 18 cases (22%) with an initial abnormal FISH result were interpreted as "borderline melanocytic tumors of uncertain malignant potential with abnormal FISH test results. " Preliminary diagnosis was not changed in cases with normal FISH results or with false-positive FISH results. An example of a borderline, atypical Spitz tumor with a false-positive FISH test result because of tetraploidy is illustrated in Figure 2, A through D. An example of an atypical conjunctival nevus with a false-positive FISH result is illustrated in Figure 3, A through D. An example of an atypical Spitz tumor with an abnormal FISH result is illustrated in Figure 4, A through D.


When the preliminary report favored a malignant melanoma diagnosis, the MelanoSITE result was abnormal in 14 of the 27 cases (52%). Only 1 of those 14 lesions (7%) was considered a likely false-positive from tetraploidy. That lesion was discussed and illustrated in a recent review on melanoma FISH. (4) (figure 2) Thus, after correcting for the false-positive case, the final FISH result was interpreted as abnormal in 13 of the 27 cases (48%). A representative case of nevoid melanoma with an abnormal FISH test result is illustrated in Figure 5, A through D. We did not change a diagnosis based on a negative FISH result for any of the lesions.

A2 X 3-way [chi square] analysis revealed a statistically significant difference (P < .001) between FISH results (normal versus abnormal) and a designation of the lesion into one of the 3 diagnostic categories (1, favor benign diagnosis; 2, favor borderline diagnosis; 3, favor a diagnosis of melanoma) based on histologic examination before the FISH test was performed. In addition, a Cramer V posttest result, a measure of the strength of an association, showed a value of .49, indicating strong association.

Table 1 provides detailed histopathologic/FISH correlation data. For each major diagnostic category of histologically ambiguous lesion (spitzoid tumors, lesions raising a differential diagnosis of an atypical nevus versus nevoid melanoma, and dysplastic nevus versus superficial spreading melanoma), Table 1 shows the initial MelanoSITE results and the final FISH result interpretation after correcting for false-positive results. The number of lesions in different subgroups is too small for meaningful, comprehensive statistical analysis of the subsets. However, certain trends can be noted. MYB1 loss appears particularly common in spitzoid neoplasms and is rare in dysplastic nevi, whereas the opposite seems to be true for RREB1.

False-Positive Results From Tetraploidy

Out of 39 cases with abnormal, initial MelanoSITE results, 2 (5%) were rejected because of the poor quality of the hybridization and few enumerated nuclei. In retrospect, those cases should have been rejected at the technical quality-control step. Among the remaining 37 cases, 10 (27%) were considered to be false-positive results because of tetraploidy. Table 1 shows the number of tetraploid cases in different histologic diagnostic categories. Table 2 shows the details of those cases.



Histologic diagnosis of melanocytic proliferations is inherently difficult because it requires integration of multiple architectural and cytologic criteria. No single feature is diagnostic of a particular entity. Furthermore, similar features can be found in both benign nevi and melanomas. Therefore, in everyday practice, even experienced pathologists cannot reproducibly classify a small subset of melanocytic proliferations into established nosologic categories and, in some cases, may not be able to accurately predict prospectively the biologic behavior of the tumor. Such difficult lesions are often reported descriptively as a melanocytic tumor of uncertain malignant potential, severely atypical melanocytic proliferation, borderline melanocytic tumor, nevomelanocytic tumors of undetermined risk, or other similar terms. We have recently reviewed the problem of a difficult melanocytic lesion. (18)

As discussed in the introduction and in our recent review, (4) the Abbott Molecular 4-probe melanoma FISH test targeting ras responsive element binding protein 1 (RREB1, 6p25), myeloblastosis viral oncogene homologue (MYB, 6q23), centromere 6, and cyclin D1 (CCND1,11q13) probes5 is the first commercially available FISH probe set showing promise as a diagnostic adjunct in evaluation of melanocytic lesions. In validation studies using diagnostically unequivocal "teaching sets," it discriminated between benign nevi and malignant melanoma with sensitivity and specificity as high as 86.7% and 95.4% (University of California, San Francisco/Northwestern University data) (6) and 83.8% and 98.11% (MelanoSITE). (16) The Abbott Molecular melanoma FISH test was also validated in critical differential diagnoses concerning histologically unequivocal benign and malignant blue nevi, nevoid melanoma, dysplastic nevi, desmoplastic melanoma, lentiginous melanoma, nevi with atypical epithelioid cell component, and Spitz nevi. (6-12,17,19)

Obviously, a FISH test is not needed for histologically unequivocal cases. The only current justification for use of this expensive test in a diagnostic setting is to employ it as a diagnostic adjunct to help classify histologically ambiguous lesions. Early retrospective studies showed correlation between metastatic behavior among histologically ambiguous melanocytic lesions and FISH results. (5,14,20) However, applying data generated from FISH validation studies to routine diagnosis of challenging lesions is not straightforward. By definition, there are no "teaching sets" of ambiguous melanocytic lesions. Therefore, it is impossible to establish signal cutoffs and sensitivity/specificity profiles for the FISH assay in this critical application as precisely as it was possible in validation studies of unequivocal lesions. Unfortunately, at this point, progress in this area has to be made by learning from histopathologic/FISH correlation studies similar to the one reported here.


We present our experience with 140 cases of histologically ambiguous melanocytic lesions evaluated with a FISH test in a setting of second-opinion consultation and routine outpatient and hospital-based practice. At the time of this writing, this is, to our knowledge, the first independent study evaluating MelanoSITE.

The data reported here were gathered prospectively during diagnostic workup of diagnostically challenging lesions. The FISH test was performed only on lesions that were considered severely atypical and/or diagnostically ambiguous by the senior author (A.Z.), S.R.L., or a submitting pathologist. We found that only a small percentage of cases (2.3% in the second-opinion consultation practice and 0.1 to 0.2% in the routine practice) may benefit from an additional FISH test.

Our data indicate that when applied to histologically ambiguous lesions, MelanoSITE has a high rate of false positive results, which can be attributed to mischaracterization of tetraploid cells. This critical issue is discussed below. However, after correcting for known false-positives, we observed good correlation between histologic classification and FISH findings. None of the lesions thought to represent atypical nevus showed abnormal FISH results, whereas 48% of lesions favored to represent melanoma had abnormal FISH results. Consistently, FISH produced abnormal results in 30% of histologically borderline lesions.

The lack of FISH-positive results among atypical nevi can be interpreted as validating the current morphologic criteria used to identify atypical nevi. Although experts with substantial experience will rarely have to rely on a FISH test in this setting, we find that a normal FISH result can provide additional reassurance in challenging lesions.


The percentage (48%) of FISH-positive histologically ambiguous lesions favored to represent unusual melanoma was close to the lower range (50%-88%) of that reported for conventional melanoma. (6-12,17,19) This is reassuring regarding the performance of MelanoSITE. We believe that, in this context, abnormal FISH results clinch the diagnosis, and the lesion can be reported as an outright melanoma. However, the diagnostic importance of a negative FISH result is limited because a significant portion of the unequivocal melanomas (12%-50%) are expected to produce normal FISH results. Thus, we did not change an interpretation based on a normal FISH result in any of our cases.

The FISH test most affected the final interpretation of lesions in the borderline group. However, the best practice for the use of the FISH test in this setting is the most controversial because the optimal signal cutoffs in these cases of borderline melanocytic lesions cannot be established. We reclassified 10 lesions with abnormal FISH results as likely melanoma. Yet, we felt that in 4 lesions, histologic features were insufficiently atypical to warrant an outright diagnosis of melanoma. Those cases were reported as "atypical melanocytic tumor of uncertain malignant potential with abnormal FISH test results." This conservative approach reflects the authors' philosophy that we should remain skeptical about this emerging test and use it only as an adjunct to, but not in lieu of, time tested histologic interpretations. This is particularly true in the context of a test performed at an outside laboratory when the pathologist is not able to examine the entire slide firsthand to assess qualitative features, such as the consistency of the FISH findings in distinct areas, and must rely solely on automated enumeration. We focused on using FISH as a diagnostic adjunct; however, recent evidence also indicates that, in conventional melanoma, the frequency of abnormal FISH results correlates with prognosis. (21) Consistently, FISH results are abnormal in almost all metastatic melanomas and aggressive nodular melanomas and in only 50% of more-indolent desmoplastic melanoma. Thus, it may be reasonable to use FISH results as a prognostic indicator rather than a diagnostic tool to better predict the risk of malignant behavior of histologically ambiguous lesions, without necessarily reclassifying them. We believe that analysis of our cohort after additional years of follow-up will likely provide us with a better understanding of the role of a FISH result in the context of histologically ambiguous lesions.


We found an unacceptably high (26%) rate of false-positive results because of tetraploidy. Pathologists must be aware of this phenomenon to avoid overdiagnosing benign nevi as melanoma based on FISH results. We were able to avoid this diagnostic pitfall only because of our emphasis on clinicopathologic correlation and because we had access to the original FISH data, which enabled us to manually reevaluate the cases, to reject tetraploid cells, and to recalculate the results. The problem of tetraploidy in melanoma FISH results was first noted by Dr Gerami's group, (6,17) who reported 10% and 14% tetraploidy rates in Spitz nevi and combined nevi with an epithelioid cell component, respectively. The false-positive rate because of tetraploidy was higher in our study. We suspect that this may be due in part to lower signal cutoffs for RREB1 (19%, criterion 1) and CCND1 (16%, criterion 2) used for MelanoSITE compared with those used by Gerami et al (6,17) (29% and 38%, respectively). Because of lower cutoffs, fewer tetraploid cells were needed to affect FISH signal counts sufficiently enough to satisfy MelanoSITE criteria 1 and 4. This should not be interpreted as a basis to advocate that pathologists should apply the Northwestern/University of California, San Francisco, cutoffs when using MelanoSITE. The signal cutoffs are empirically determined values and are expected to differ among laboratories because of slightly different hybridization conditions and, most important, manual (Northwestern University/ University of California) versus automatic (NeoGenomics Laboratories) method of selection of nuclei and analysis. (4) Overdiagnosing melanoma based on a false-positive FISH result would be a consequential mistake for the patient. Therefore, pathologists using the FISH test must be aware of this phenomenon. Tetraploid cells can be found in benign, borderline, and malignant lesions, so this feature is not useful diagnostically. A significant number of tetraploid cells simply invalidate melanoma FISH test results. MelanoSITE should include a process to alert pathologists to the possibility of tetraploidy and to give pathologists the tools to make appropriate assessment and/or to develop algorithms that would identify and reject suspected tetraploid cells during automated analysis. In addition, readers should be aware that there were 2 cases in which either too few nuclei were counted or poor hybridization was detected in our study, situations that may also lead to false-positive results.

Although we believe that the MelanoSITE approach is a significant innovation because it allows pathologists not having access to FISH-capable laboratories to offer the test, we have several suggestions for improvement. Pathologists using MelanoSITE rely only on automated enumeration supervised by technicians from NeoGenomics Laboratories, without the ability to examine the actual FISH test slide or a digitized version thereof. In several controversial cases, we requested slides be sent back to us, and we examined them ourselves under a fluorescence microscope. We found out that the ability to examine the whole slide enhances the histologic/FISH correlation and allowed us to assess the consistency of the FISH result abnormalities in different areas of the tumor. Obviously, having the ability to superimpose FISH slides with routine sections would be a plus, but just having the ability to examine the digital images of fluorescence slides would be a great improvement to the interface.

In summary, our data show a correlation between the histologic classification of histologically ambiguous melanocytic lesions and MelanoSITE melanoma FISH results. Our experience indicates that MelanoSITE results can be used judiciously as an adjunct to the evaluation of challenging melanocytic lesions by experts. However, low sensitivity of the FISH test and the problem of false-positives because of tetraploidy underscore the importance of clinicopathologic correlation and expertise. Thus, we are skeptical that the melanoma FISH test is ready for widespread use for the evaluation of challenging melanocytic lesions in a general community-practice setting.

We acknowledge the excellent technical assistance of Patrice Green, BA (


(1.) Bastian BC, Olshen AB, LeBoit PE, Pinkel D. Classifying melanocytic tumors based on DNA copy number changes. Am J Pathol. 2003; 163(5):1765-1770.

(2.) Albertson DG, Collins C, McCormick F, Gray JW. Chromosome aberrations in solid tumors. Nat Genet. 2003; 34(4):369-376.

(3.) Bastian BC. Understanding the progression of melanocytic neoplasia using genomic analysis: from fields to cancer. Oncogene. 2003 May; 22(20):3081-3086.

(4.) Gerami P, Zembowicz A. Update on fluorescence in situ hybridization in melanoma: state of the art. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2011; 135(7):830-837.

(5.) Gerami P, Jewell SS, Morrison LE, et al. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) as an ancillary diagnostic tool in the diagnosis of melanoma [Erratum appears in Am J Surg Pathol. 2010;34(5):688]. Am J Surg Pathol. 2009; 33(8):1146-1156.

(6.) Isaac AK, Lertsburapa T, Pathria MJ, Martini M, Guitart J, Gerami P. Polyploidy in Spitz nevi: a not uncommon karyotypic abnormality identifiable by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Am J Dermatopathol. 2010; 32(2):144-148.

(7.) Bastian BC. Understanding the progression of melanocytic neoplasia using genomic analysis: from fields to cancer [Review] [36 refs]. Oncogene. 2003; 22(20):3081-3086.

(8.) Pouryazdanparast P, Newman M, Mafee M, Haghighat Z, Guitart J, Gerami P. Distinguishing epithelioid blue nevus from blue nevus-like cutaneous melanoma metastasis using fluorescence in situ hybridization. Am J Surg Pathol. 2009; 33(9):1396-1400.

(9.) Newman MD, Lertsburapa T, Mirzabeigi M, Mafee M, Guitart J, Gerami P. Fluorescence in situ hybridization as a tool for microstaging in malignant melanoma. Mod Pathol. 2009; 22(8):989-995.

(10.) Gerami P, Wass A, Mafee M, Fang Y, Pulitzer MP, Busam KJ. Fluorescence in situ hybridization for distinguishing nevoid melanomas from mitotically active nevi. Am J Surg Pathol. 2009; 33(12):1783-1788.

(11.) Gerami P, Barnhill RL, Beilfuss BA, LeBoit P, Schneider P, Guitart J. Superficial melanocytic neoplasms with pagetoid melanocytosis: a study of interobserver concordance and correlation with FISH. Am J Surg Pathol. 2010; 34(6):816-821.

(12.) Newman MD, Mirzabeigi M, Gerami P. Chromosomal copy number changes supporting the classification of lentiginous junctional melanoma of the elderly as a subtype of melanoma. Mod Pathol. 2009; 22(9):1258-1262.

(13.) Gerami P, Beilfuss B, Haghighat Z, FangY, JhanwarS, Busam KJ. Fluorescence in situ hybridization as an ancillary method for the distinction of desmoplastic melanomas from sclerosing melanocytic nevi. J Cutan Pathol. 2011; 38(4):239-334.

(14.) Vergier B, Prochazkowa-Carlotti M, de la Fouchardiere A, et al. Fluorescence in situ hybridization, a diagnostic aid in ambiguous melanocytic tumors: European study of 113 cases. Mod Pathol. 2011; 24(5):613-623.

(15.) Zembowicz A, Ahmad A, Lyle SR. A comprehensive analysis of a Web- based dermatopathology second opinion consultation practice. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2011; 135(3):379-383.

(16.) Moore MW, Gasparini R. FISH as an effective diagnostic tool for the management of challenging melanocytic lesions. Diagn Pathol. 2011; 6:76. doi:10.1186/1746-1596-6-76.

(17.) Pouryazdanparast P, Haghighat Z, Beilfuss BA, Guitart J, Gerami P. Melanocytic nevi with an atypical epithelioid cell component: clinical, histopathologic, and fluorescence in situ hybridization findings. Am J Surg Pathol. 2011; 35(9):1405-1412.

(18.) Zembowicz A, Scolyer RA. Nevus/melanocytoma/melanoma: an emerg- ing paradigm in classification of melanocytic neoplasms? Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2011,135:300-306.

(19.) PouryazdanparastP, Newman M, Mafee M, GuitartJ, Gerami P. Malignant melanoma with monster cells showing massive cyclin D1 amplification. Am J Dermatopathol. 2009; 31(4):402-403.

(20.) Massi D, Cesinaro AM, Tomasini C, et al. Atypical Spitzoid melanocytic tumors: a morphological, mutational, and FISH analysis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2011; 64(5):919-935.

(21.) North JP, Vetto JT, Murali R, White KP, White CR, Jr, Bastian BC. Assessment of copy number status of chromosomes 6 and 11 by FISH provides independent prognostic information in primary melanoma. Am J Surg Pathol. 2011 9; 35(8):1146-1150.

(22.) Thiagalingam S, Johnson MM, Colby KA, Zembowicz A. Juvenile conjunctival nevus: clinicopathologic analysis of 33 cases. Am J Surg Pathol. 2008; 32(3):399-406.

Artur Zembowicz, MD, PhD; Sung-Eun Yang, MD; Antonios Kafanas, MD; Stephen R. Lyle, MD, PhD

Accepted for publication February 6, 2012.

Published as an Early Online Release April 5, 2012.

From the Department of Pathology,, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Boston, Massachusetts (Drs Zembowicz and Lyle); [a-z]he Department of Pathology, Lahey Clinic, Burlington, Massachusetts (Dr Zembowicz); [a-z]he Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Tufts Medical Center, Boston (Dr Yang); the Department of Pathology, Hospital General of Serres, Serres, Greece (Dr Kafanas); and the Department of Pathology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester (Dr Lyle).

Dr Zembowicz serves as a clinical consultant to NeoGenomics Laboratories (Irvine, California). In this capacity, he received honoraria for second-opinion consultations on cases submitted for melanoma FISH. The authors have no other relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.

Reprints: Artur Zembowicz, MD, PhD, Department of Pathology,, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, 6th Floor, 133 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215 (e-mail:
Table 1. Histologic/Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH)
Correlation (a)

Histologic Cases, No. Cases, MelanoSITE Results,
Category/ (% of Total) No. (% of No. (%)
Subset Abnormal RREB1

Spitzoid tumor 51 (36) 14 (28) 4 (1)
 Favor benign 18 (35) 2 (11) 1 (1)
 Borderline 28 (55) 8 (29) 3 (1)
 Favor 5 (10) 4 (80) 1 (1)

Atypical nevus 54 (39) 14 (26) 3 (2)
 Favor benign 32 (59) 4 (b) (13) 2 (1)
 Borderline 15 (28) 8 (53) 4 (2)
 Favor 7 (13) 2 (29) 1 (1)

Dysplastic 33 (24) 10 (30) 8 (4)
 nevus versus
 Favor benign 16 (49) 1 (6) 1 (1)
 Borderline 4 (12) 2 (50) 2 (0)
 Favor 13 (39) 7 (54) 5 (3)
Suspected 2 (1) 1 (50) 0 (0)
Total 140 (100) 39 (28) 15 (7)

Histologic MelanoSITE Results,
Category/ No. (%)

Subset RREB1 MYB CCND1 Multiple
 > CEN < CEN

Spitzoid tumor 1 (1) 8 (2) 5 (4) 5
 Favor benign 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (1) 1
 Borderline 0 (0) 5 (0) 4 (2) 2
 Favor 1 (1) 3 (2) 1 (1) 2

Atypical nevus 1 (1) 3 (0) 3 (1) 4
 Favor benign 0 (0) 2 (0) 1 (1) 1
 Borderline 0 (0) 0 (0) 5 (2) 2
 Favor 1 (1) 1 (0) 0 (0) 1

Dysplastic 3 (3) 0 (0) 2 (1) 4
 nevus versus
 Favor benign 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (1) 1
 Borderline 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0
 Favor 3 (3) 0 (0) 1 (0) 3
Suspected 0 (0) 1 (0) 0 (0) 0
Total 5 (5) 12 (2) 10 (6) 13

Histologic MelanoSITE Results,
Category/ No. (%)
Subset Tetraploidy Final FISH

Spitzoid tumor 4 (29) 10 (19)
 Favor benign 2 (100) 0 (0)
 Borderline 1 (12) 8 (29)
 Favor 1 (25) 3 (60)

Atypical nevus 5 (36) 9 (17)
 Favor benign 2 (50)b 0b (0)
 Borderline 2 (20) 6 (40)
 Favor 0 (0) 2 (29)

Dysplastic 2 (20) 8 (24)
 nevus versus
 Favor benign 1 (100) 0 (0)
 Borderline 1 (25) 1 (25)
 Favor 0 (0) 7 (54)
Suspected 0 (0) 1 (50)
Total 10 (26) 29 (21)

(a) The table summarizes MelanoSITE FISH results for each histologic
diagnostic category (Spitzoid tumor, atypical nevus versus nevoid
melanoma, dysplastic nevus versus melanoma, and suspected desmoplastic
melanoma) and their subsets (favor benign, borderline, and favor
melanoma). The columns indicate the following: number, number of
lesions in a particular diagnostic category or subset, with
percentages of total or corresponding diagnostic category shown in
parentheses; abnormal MelanoSITE: number of lesions reported by
MelanoSITE as abnormal, with percentages of corresponding diagnostic
category-subset or total shown in parentheses;RREB1, number of lesions
with abnormal MelanoSITE based on FISH criterion 1, which is the
percentage of cells showing >2 signals with RREB1 probe equaling >16%,
with number of lesions in which this abnormality was associated with
other abnormalities shown in parentheses;RREB1 >CEN, number of lesions
with abnormal MelanoSITE based on FISH criterion 2, which is the
percentage of cells showing more signals with RREB1 than with
centromere 6 probes equaling >53%, with the number of lesions in which
this abnormality was associated with other abnormalities shown in
parentheses;MYB<CEN, number of lesions with abnormal MelanoSITE based
on FISH criterion 3, which is the percentage of cells showing fewer
signals with myeloblastosis viral oncogene homologue (MYB) equaling
>42%, with number of lesions in which this abnormality was associated
with other abnormalities is shown in parentheses;CCND1, number of
lesions with abnormal MelanoSITE based on FISH criterion 4, which is
the percentage of cells showing >2 signals with cyclin D1 (CCND1)
equaling >19%, with number of lesions in which this abnormality was
associated with other abnormalities shown in parentheses;multiple,
number of lesions with abnormal MelanoSITE based on >1 FISH
criterion;tetraploidy, number of lesions with false-positive
MelanoSITE because of tetraploidy, with the percentage of lesions in
reference to the number of lesions with abnormal initial MelanoSITE
shown in parentheses;final FISH interpretation, number of lesions with
abnormal FISH after correcting for false-positives because of
tetraploidy or being rejected because of poor hybridization or low
number of nuclei counted during retrospective analysis.

(b) There were 2 cases in this category that were found to be false-
positive because of poor hybridization or the numbers of nuclei were
too low to be enumerated.

Table 2. Details of False-Positive Cases Because of Tetraploidy

Case No. Histologic Age, y/ Site MelanoSITE
 Category/Subset Sex Abnormality

 Spitzoid tumor
 1 Favor benign 25/F Back RREB1
 and CCND1
 2 Favor benign 31/F Leg CCND1
 3 Borderline 21/F Neck CCND1
 4 Favor melanoma 17/F Ankle RREB1
 and CCND1
 Atypical nevus versus
 nevoid melanoma
 5 Favor benign 9/M Conjunctiva RREB1
 and CCND1
 6 Favor benign 3/M Ear RREB1
 7 Borderline 19/M Neck RREB1
 8 Borderline 48/F Nose RREB1
 and CCND1
 Dysplastic nevus
 versus melanoma
 9 Favor benign 21/M Conjunctiva RREB1
 and CCND1
 10 Borderline 50/F Back RREB1
COPYRIGHT 2012 College of American Pathologists
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Zembowicz, Artur; Yang, Sung-Eun; Kafanas, Antonios; Lyle, Stephen R.
Publication:Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Article Type:Clinical report
Date:Dec 1, 2012
Previous Article:Value-added benefits and utilization of pathologists' assistants.
Next Article:Clinical requests for molecular tests: the 3-step evidence check.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters