[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An accurate and complete pathology report is critical for the optimal management of cutaneous melanoma patients. Protocols for the pathologic reporting of melanoma have been independently developed by the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA), Royal College of Pathologists (United Kingdom) (RCPath), and College of American Pathologists (CAP). In this study, data sets, checklists, and structured reporting protocols for pathologic examination and reporting of cutaneous melanoma were analyzed by an international panel of melanoma pathologists and clinicians with the aim of developing a common, internationally agreed upon, evidence-based data set. The International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting cutaneous melanoma expert review panel analyzed the existing RCPA, RCPath, and CAP data sets to develop a protocol containing "required" (mandatory/core) and "recommended" (nonmandatory/noncore) elements. Required elements were defined as those that had agreed evidentiary support at National Health and Medical Research Council level III-2 level of evidence or above and that were unanimously agreed upon by the review panel to be essential for the clinical management, staging, or assessment of the prognosis of melanoma or fundamental for pathologic diagnosis. Recommended elements were those considered to be clinically important and recommended for good practice but with lesser degrees of supportive evidence. Sixteen core/required data elements for cutaneous melanoma pathology reports were defined (with an additional 4 core/required elements for specimens received with lymph nodes). Eighteen additional data elements with a lesser level of evidentiary support were included in the recommended data set. Consensus response values (permitted responses) were formulated for each data item. Development and agreement of this evidence-based protocol at an international level was accomplished in a timely and efficient manner, and the processes described herein may facilitate the development of protocols for other tumor types. Widespread utilization of an internationally agreed upon, structured pathology data set for melanoma will lead not only to improved patient management but is a prerequisite for research and for international benchmarking in health care.
The American journal of surgical pathology 09/2013; · 4.06 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: : Although rare, congenital malignant melanoma (CMM) should be considered in the differential diagnosis of congenital skin lesions. We report a case of CMM in a 4-month-old infant presenting with an enlarging scalp mass, initially thought to be a hemangioma. Incisional biopsy of the lesion showed a compound congenital nevus with atypical cells suggestive of a proliferative nodule versus malignancy on histopathology. Subsequent excisional biopsy revealed malignant melanoma, and further workup confirmed extensive disease with distant metastases. Cytogenetic analysis of both the tumor sites showed highly abnormal karyotypes including pseudotetraploidy, telomere associations, and evidence of gene amplification, all consistent with malignancy. Fluorescence in situ hybridization demonstrated amplification of the MYC gene, with no copy number changes in CDKN2A (INK4/ARF), PTEN, or Cyclin D1. Our report details the cytogenetic and molecular studies of CMM, which provide insight into the biologic behavior of the lesions and may confirm diagnosis when histopathology is not determinant.
The American Journal of dermatopathology 07/2013; · 1.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: : Melanocytic nevus rests in lymph nodes are a known diagnostic challenge, especially in patients with a history of melanoma. Reticulin and NM23 have been studied in this context. The pattern of reticulin staining in melanomas surrounds groups/nests of melanocytes but individual cells in benign nevi. NM23, a metastasis-suppressor gene, has an association with metastatic potential in melanomas and some carcinomas. Twenty-eight cases (14 cases of metastatic melanoma to lymph nodes and 14 cases of lymph node nevus rests, all confirmed with Melan-A staining) were stained with reticulin and NM23. The pattern of reticulin staining was reported as surrounding groups if staining was noted in approximately 5-10 melanocytes in greater than 50% of the lesion but was otherwise reported as surrounding individual melanocytes. Cytoplasmic staining was considered to represent reactivity for NM23. Reticulin staining around groups of melanocytes was identified in all 14 cases of metastatic melanoma. Regarding nodal nevus rest cases, 12 of 14 cases (86%) demonstrated staining around individual melanocytes, whereas in 2 cases, reticulin surrounded melanocytic groups. NM23 staining was equivocal in all cases. Reticulin staining reliably invests groups of melanocytes in cases of metastatic melanoma, whereas in nodal nevus rests, it predominantly surrounds individual melanocytes. NM23 demonstrated no discriminatory value in this analysis. In cases in which a collection of melanocytes is present within a lymph node, reticulin deposition around individual melanocytes supports a diagnosis of lymph nodal nevus rest.
The American Journal of dermatopathology 06/2013; 35(4):452-7. · 1.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presence of dermal mitotic figures is helpful in identifying malignant melanocytic lesions but occasionally occur in benign nevi. We aim to determine a "benchmark" mitotic frequency for a wide variety of nevi. We prospectively collected 1041 cases of benign melanocytic nevi and reviewed them for the presence of mitotic figures. Specimens were collected from female (62%) and male (38%) participants, ages ranged from 1 to 90 years. Nevus types included compound melanocytic nevi (CMN), intradermal melanocytic nevi, junctional melanocytic nevi, lentiginous CMN (LCMN), lentiginous junctional melanocytic nevi, blue nevi, deep penetrating nevi, and pigmented spindle cell nevi. Nevi with congenital, mildly dysplastic, and Spitzoid features were included. A total of 82 of 1041 (7.9%) nevi contained one or more mitotic figures. Most (76.1%) mitoses were found in the papillary dermis. Single mitotic figures were more common (80.4%) than 2 (15.9%) or 3 (3.7%) within a single specimen. Of all cases containing mitotic figures, the most common nevus type was CMN. The nevus type most frequently demonstrating mitotic figures was CMN. The most common body site among cases with mitotic figures was trunk (53.7%), whereas the body site with the largest proportion of nevi demonstrating mitotic figures was special site (10.9%). The percentage of nevi containing mitotic figures was nearly the same among female (7.9%) and male (7.8%) participants. Results of this large review confirm that mitotic figures, even multiple ones, do not preclude benignity in a variety of melanocytic nevi.
The American Journal of dermatopathology 06/2012; · 1.30 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Our previous study utilizing the 2008 NCI six-category system (also known as The Bethesda System) for reporting thyroid fine-needle aspirations (FNA) identified considerable overlap in diagnosis and in assigned malignancy risk estimates for the "follicular lesion of undetermined significance (FLUS)" and "follicular neoplasm (FN)" categories and for the "suspicious for malignancy (Susp)" and "malignant" categories. We proposed a simplified Bethesda System for reporting thyroid FNAs that provided four non-overlapping, statistically significant, and more clinically relevant diagnostic categories: unsatisfactory, benign, FLUS/FN, and Susp/malignant. In the current study, six cytopathologists participated in a blinded retrospective review of 60 thyroid FNAs and kappa statistics were utilized to compare the intra- and inter-observer diagnostic agreements obtained using the six-category and the simplified four-category schemes. Surgical follow-up was used to determine which scheme provided more discrete malignancy risk estimates. Use of the simplified four-category scheme significantly improved intra- and inter-observer diagnostic agreement levels, significantly increased the sensitivity of FNA for a diagnosis of carcinoma in the subsequently resected thyroid glands, and provided non-overlapping malignancy risk estimates for each diagnostic category.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To present an unusual case of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A (MEN 2A) syndrome and to describe how this case differs from the typical clinical features and usual genetic variations seen in classic MEN 2A syndrome.
We describe the work-up, diagnosis, and treatment course of a patient who presented with multi-focal pheochromocytomas, parathyroid adenoma, thyroid abnormalities, and a RET mutation.
A 65-year-old man with previously treated pheochromocytoma presented with a parathyroid adenoma, multiple thyroid nodules, and a RET polymorphism. C-cell hyperplasia (CCH) or medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) occurs with nearly 100% penetrance in patients with MEN 2A syndrome. Our patient did not have CCH or frank MTC, but he expressed the other manifestations of the MEN 2A syndrome.
MEN 2A syndrome is characterized by the occurrence of MTC, pheochromocytomas, and parathyroid hyperplasia or adenomas. It is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, and more than 80% of patients with MEN 2A have a specific substitution on codon 634 of the RET proto-oncogene. Despite the nearly 100% penetrance of MTC or CCH in patients with MEN 2A, our patient did not have this. Additionally, he exhibited a RET mutation that is uncommonly seen in classic MEN 2A syndrome. Our patient may have a MEN 2A variant or a pseudo-MEN 2A syndrome.
Endocrine Practice 12/2010; 17(2):e4-7. · 2.49 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retrieval of a minimum of 12 lymph nodes has been recommended for adequately staging a node-negative colorectal cancer (CRC). This study was designed to determine whether the extra effort expended to recover more nodes for histological examination improves the accuracy of staging.
Pathology reports, histology worklists, and haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) slides of 334 CRC resections were reviewed. The total number of nodes and the number of positive nodes harvested from the first and additional searches were recorded for each patient.
The number of nodes retrieved from the 334 resections at the first search ranged from 0 to 57 (mean: 14.2), with 195 patients (58.4%) having ≥ 12 nodes. Nodal metastasis was found in 122 (33.6%) patients. Additional searches were performed on 115 patients, including 91 with < 12 nodes. The mean number of nodes recovered in these patients increased significantly, from 9.1 to 14.2 (P < 0.0001). Thirty-one additional positive nodes were found in 19 patients following the further searches, and 12 (63.2%) of the 19 patients were upstaged using the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) 6th edition (2002) staging criteria. The total number of nodes retrieved and the probability of obtaining ≥ 12 nodes correlated negatively with the age of the patient and the rectosigmoid location of the tumours, but positively with the specimen length, the pericolic/perirectal fat width, female gender and tumour size.
Although a number of patient and specimen variables influence the number of lymph nodes retrieved, our observations support the importance of a thorough search for nodes in CRC specimens in order to achieve accurate tumour staging.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is unique in that the presence of vascular invasion significantly changes tumor stage. Even though searching for vascular invasion is a common practice in surgical pathology, there appears to be a great variation among pathologists in its recognition. This study was designed to assess whether HCC could be accurately staged using vascular invasion as a staging parameter.
The interobserver and intraobserver agreement for vascular invasion was analyzed in 126 liver resections for HCC. Selected slides were circulated twice among six pathologists for independent review using their own criteria. One to three representative images from 26 equivocal cases selected by one of the authors were re-evaluated by the pathologists. The presence or absence of vascular invasion on each slide or image was recorded as yes or no. The results were analyzed using unweighted kappa statistic analysis for multiple raters.
The interobserver agreement was moderate on two slide circulations with kappa values of 0.50 (95% confidence interval 0.45-0.55) and 0.43 (0.38-0.47), respectively. The kappa value dropped significantly to 0.19 (0.09-0.29) on selected images photographed from controversial cases. The intraobserver agreement was moderate, with kappa values ranging from 0.23 to 0.56 (mean = 0.45).
Pathologists can reproducibly recognize vascular invasion in many HCC cases but may have difficulty in equivocal cases, which may lead to either understaging or overstaging of the tumors. This may have a significant impact on prognostic assessment and therapeutic decision making. Our observations indicate the need for improved definition for vascular invasion in HCC.
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 09/2010; 25(9):1556-61. · 3.33 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A National Cancer Institute (NCI) "Thyroid Fine-Needle Aspiration (FNA) State of the Science Conference" recently proposed standardized nomenclature and "risks of malignancies" associated with various diagnostic categories. We evaluated the evidence levels of the data used by NCI to predict malignancy risks and whether those estimates had clinical validity in our patient population.Eight hundred seventy-nine patients underwent thyroid FNA during 2006. FNA diagnoses were translated into NCI diagnostic categories, and 2-year follow-up retrospective information was obtained. Four percentages of malignancies were calculated for each diagnostic category using follow-up information from FNA, thyroidectomy, both, and all patients as denominators. 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated for all proportions, and results were analyzed with chi-square statistics. "Relative risk" calculations were performed using the percentage of malignancies in the entire population under study as a denominator.Most of the studies cited by the NCI provided incomplete and variable level III evidence based mainly on surgical follow-up. Among our patients, the percentages of malignancies calculated with follow-up data from all patients as the denominator were similar to the "risk estimates" proposed by the NCI, but estimates based on surgical follow-up overestimated the probability of thyroid malignancy for patients with FNA diagnosis of "benign" and "follicular lesions of undetermined significance" (FLUS). Relative risk and 95% CI calculations suggested that the NCI classification could be simplified into three categories: "benign," "FLUS + neoplasm," and "suspicious + malignant."
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although grading has been demonstrated to be an important prognostic factor in ovarian serous carcinoma, there is no system universally used to perform this task. A few years ago, we proposed a two-tier system for grading ovarian serous carcinoma that is based primarily on the assessment of nuclear atypia (uniformity vs. pleomorphism) in the worst area of the tumor. Tumor grade in this two-tier system is correlated with survival. After being used by numerous pathologists and trainees at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) for 15 years, we have observed that this system is user-friendly and reproducible. We undertook this study to evaluate the interobserver and intraobserver variability among a group of 7 gynecologic pathologists and 2 general surgical pathologists using this grading system. A total of 80 cases of ovarian serous carcinoma, 40 low-grade and 40 high-grade, were circulated twice among these pathologists. Slides with examples of low-grade and high-grade serous carcinoma were sent with the unknowns. A website was used to provide diagnostic criteria, images of examples of ovarian low-grade and high-grade carcinoma, and a log form to facilitate data entry. Statistical analysis demonstrated an overall kappa statistic among the different observers of 0.909. The intergrader kappa's ranged from 0.717 to 1.000 in the first round of the review and from 0.701 to 1.000 in the second round. Eight of the participants had an intragrader kappa ranging from 0.775 to 1.000 (excellent agreement), whereas a single participant had an intragrader kappa of 0.725 (good agreement). This study demonstrates that the two-tier grading system (the MDACC grading system) for ovarian serous carcinoma on the basis of the assessment of nuclear atypia is easy to learn and is highly reproducible. These findings would support its universal use, which would be beneficial for the standardization of clinical trials and protocols, thus facilitating the understanding of this disease and investigation into the treatment of patients affected by these tumors.
American Journal of Surgical Pathology 09/2007; 31(8):1168-74. · 4.87 Impact Factor