Melanocytes in squamous cell carcinoma of the skin
An earlier study has described four biphenotypic neoplasms with squamous and melanocytic differentiation involving the upper and mid-dermis,3 although that finding had been reported earlier.4 One case of the series of Pool et al.3 revealed a connection between the tumour and lentigo maligna in the adjacent epidermis. In addition, the immunohistochemical profile reported was similar to that described by Matsumoto et al.1 Pool et al.3 interpret their tumours as true malignant proliferations of two distinct phenotypes. No genetic analysis, such as that based on microsatellites, has been carried out in order to prove tumour cell identity in both components.5 Therefore, the real nature of these neoplasms cannot be certain and could include colonization by normal cells of a pre- existing neoplasm, a collision neoplasm, or a biphenotypic neoplasm.
The relationship between pigmented squamous cell carcinomas and biphenotypic squamous-melanocytic tumours must be clarified in order to achieve a better understanding of the biological aspects of those neoplasms and improve the prognostic meaning of tumour classification.
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