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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2016 August;151(4):365-84

language: English

Biologically distinct subsets of nevi

Tova ROGERS 1, Maria L. MARINO 1, Patricia RACITI 2, Manu JAIN 1, Klaus J. BUSAM 2, Michael A. MARCHETTI 1, Ashfaq A. MARGHOOB 1

1 Dermatology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA; 2 Pathology Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA


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Melanocytic nevi (MN) encompass a range of benign tumors with varying microscopic and macroscopic features. Their development is a multifactorial process under genetic and environmental influences. The clinical importance of MN lies in distinguishing them from melanoma and in recognizing their associations with melanoma risk and cancer syndromes. Historically, the distinction between the different types of MN, as well as between MN and melanoma, was based on clinical history, gross morphology, and histopathological features. While histopathology with clinical correlation remains the gold standard for differentiating and diagnosing melanocytic lesions, in some cases, this may not be possible. The use of dermoscopy has allowed for the assessment of subsurface skin structures and has contributed to the clinical evaluation and classification of MN. Genetic profiling, while still in its early stages, has the greatest potential to refine the classification of MN by clarifying their developmental processes, biological behaviors, and relationships to melanoma. Here we review the most salient clinical, dermoscopic, histopathological, and genetic features of different MN subgroups.

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marghooa@mskcc.org