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Publications (14)

  • Pedram Gerami · Gu Li · Pedram Pouryazdanparast · [...] · Katerina Pestova
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The diagnosis of certain melanocytic proliferations remains one of the most challenging areas in pathology. In recent times, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) has emerged as a promising diagnostic aid to conventional microscopy. We previously showed that a 4-probe FISH assay targeting 6p25 (RREB1), 6q23 (MYB), Cep6 (centromere 6), and 11q13 (CCND1) could discriminate between histologically unequivocal melanomas and benign nevi with a sensitivity of 86.7% and specificity of 95.4%. However, the sensitivity of the assay is approximately 70% in melanomas with spitzoid morphology. Furthermore, differentiating true gains from tetraploidy may cause difficulties in interpretation by inexperienced examiners. Here we refine the current probe set to better target spitzoid melanomas and more easily distinguish cells with imbalanced copy number aberrations from tetraploid cells. Using FISH data from 3 training sets of 322 tumors, including 152 melanomas and 170 nevi, we identified 9p21, 6p25, 11q13, and 8q24 as a probe set with improved discriminatory power in differentiating melanomas from nevi. In a validation set of 51 melanomas and 51 nevi this probe set had a sensitivity of 94% and specificity of 98%, compared with the original probe set that had a sensitivity of 75% and specificity of 96% in the same validation cohort. We propose that by incorporating 9p21 into the 4-probe FISH assay, with a new diagnostic algorithm, this new probe set would have improved discriminatory power in melanocytic neoplasms and improved sensitivity for detecting spitzoid melanomas, as demonstrated by our previous studies.
    Article · Jun 2012 · The American journal of surgical pathology
  • Pedram Pouryazdanparast · Alex Brenner · Zahra Haghighat · [...] · Pedram Gerami
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cutaneous melanomas may be quite heterogeneous in their clinical, histological and molecular findings. Correlating these features may help identify distinctive subgroups of melanomas and improve our overall understanding and prognostication of melanoma. We recently identified a subgroup of melanomas with increased chromosomal copy number gains in 8q24 at MYC having several distinctive clinical and histopathological characteristics, including an aggressive clinical course and an amelanotic clinical and histological appearance. It has been postulated that oncogenes such as MYC may have regulatory effects on genes critical to melanin pigment synthesis, specifically microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF), which is known to have a key role in regulating the expression of tyrosinase (TYR), an important enzyme in the production of melanin pigment. We investigated the possible mechanism underlying the amelanotic appearance of melanomas with gains in 8q24 by evaluating the relationship between melanomas with and without 8q24 copy number gains and c-MYC, MITF and TYR protein expression. Immunohistochemical analysis of c-MYC, MITF and TYR was performed on 36 melanomas with gains in 8q24 and 40 melanomas without gains in 8q24. The melanomas with gains of 8q24 correlated with elevated c-MYC protein expression and melanomas without gains in 8q24 showed significantly decreased c-MYC protein expression. A direct relationship between the presence of gains in 8q24 and decreased MITF expression, as well as between c-MYC and TYR protein expression was also observed. Our results suggest that MYC can have a role in the pigmentary pathway of melanoma. In amelanotic melanomas with gains in 8q24, downregulation of TYR and other melanocyte-specific genes may be mediated by MYC leading to transcriptional suppression of MITF. As MITF is a frequently used marker to establish melanocytic lineage in melanoma, our study also raises the important clinical consideration that amelanotic melanomas, especially those with gains in 8q24 may lack expression of MITF.
    Article · May 2012 · Modern Pathology
  • Pedram Pouryazdanparast · D Patrick Cowen · Beth Ann Beilfuss · [...] · Pedram Gerami
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cutaneous melanoma may be quite heterogeneous in its clinical, histologic, and molecular features. Yet, the current classification of melanoma is limited to 4 main subtypes on the basis of clinical and histopathologic features and has shown limited impact on clinical management including prognostication and treatment. Advances in our understanding of the driving molecular pathways in melanoma and the importance of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway have shown that specific activating mutations in oncogenes may correlate with characteristic clinical and histologic features. We evaluated 40 melanoma cases with gains in MYC at 8q24, and we show that their characteristic features include aggressive clinical course, occurrence in nonchronically sun-damaged skin, amelanotic clinical and histopathologic appearance, a nodular or primary dermal growth pattern by histology, frequent epidermal consumption, and infrequent association with a precursor nevus. The v-raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B1 (BRAF) and neuroblastoma RAS viral oncogene homolog (NRAS) mutation status was also determined. The presence of these mutations was comparable to frequencies previously reported from nonchronically sun-damaged skin. However, the BRAF mutant cases did not show histopathologic features considered characteristic of BRAF mutant melanoma. Considering these distinct clinical and histopathologic features and the possible role as a theragnostic tool, it may be of value to consider 8q24 status in cutaneous melanoma in addition to the mutation status of BRAF in future studies integrating molecular findings into the classification system for cutaneous melanoma.
    Article · Feb 2012 · The American journal of surgical pathology
  • Pedram Pouryazdanparast · Zahra Haghighat · Beth Ann Beilfuss · [...] · Pedram Gerami
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Combined melanocytic nevi can contain a phenotypically distinct population of large atypical epithelioid cells in a background of smaller banal-appearing melanocytes. On the basis of the pattern of proliferation and degree of pigmentation, nevi with this pattern have been referred to as nevi with an atypical epithelioid cell component (N-AECC). When N-AECC display sheet-like or an expansile nodular growth pattern, notable cytologic atypia, and any level of mitotic activity, they can be difficult to distinguish from melanoma. The clinical history and appearance of these lesions may similarly raise concern for melanoma. In view of this diagnostic problem, we present 28 cases of N-AECC from our dermatopathology consultation and in-house practice. All 28 cases were found to be negative on the basis of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for imbalanced chromosomal aberrations commonly found in melanoma. The clinical outcomes showed a benign clinical course for all cases for which the outcome information was available. FISH analysis also revealed that, in 4 of 28 cases (14%), the AECC of the lesion demonstrated polyploidy localized to the large epithelioid cell component. This is likely more common among cases of N-AECC that have an atypical spitzoid epithelioid cell component, particularly those with obvious senescent nuclear changes. Care must be taken to avoid the pitfall of misinterpreting these FISH findings as changes consistent with melanoma. The use of ancillary testing methods including FISH may be beneficial in improving the diagnostic accuracy involved in making the distinction of N-AECC from melanoma. Further, we report a novel finding of polyploidy seen in certain cases of benign N-AECC.
    Article · Sep 2011 · The American journal of surgical pathology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.
    Article · May 2011 · Dermatologic Surgery
  • Pedram Gerami · Susan S Jewell · Pedram Pouryazdanparast · [...] · Larry Morrison
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Relating specific genetic alterations to prognosis may help improve prognostication in melanoma, may identify key oncogenic drivers in cancer, and may assist in developing targeted therapies. Characteristic genetic alterations in melanoma include chromosomal copy number aberrations. We evaluated 97 melanomas (55 metastasizing and 42 nonmetastasizing) after a minimum 5-year follow-up in a case-control study using fluorescence in situ hybridization, targeting commonly altered chromosomal loci in melanoma. Eight probes arranged in two panels were used, and 11 parameters were evaluated. Parameters showing a statistically significant difference between the metastasizing and nonmetastasizing groups were evaluated with multivariate logistic regression analysis to compare their prognostic potential with other traditional prognostic markers used by the American Joint Committee on Cancer. Four of 11 parameters evaluated, including CCND1 (alias Bcl-1) gain, CCND1 r-gain, MYC (alias c-myc) gain, and MYC r-gain, had a statistically significant difference in the metastasizing versus nonmetastasizing group. All four parameters maintained statistical significance when evaluated in separate multivariate logistic regression analyses that included the seven currently used American Joint Commission on Cancer prognosticators in melanoma. In multivariate analyses, these four parameters were second only to ulceration in their prognostic potential. Copy number changes at 11q13 and 8q24 [corrected] harboring CCND1 and MYC, respectively, are highly associated with prognosis. Fluorescence in situ hybridization targeting these loci may be a useful standardized prognostic marker in melanoma skin cancer.
    Article · May 2011 · The Journal of molecular diagnostics: JMD
  • A Bandhlish · R Patel · P Pouryazdanparast · [...] · D Fullen
    Article · Mar 2011 · Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
  • Pedram Gerami · Pedram Pouryazdanparast · Swapna Vemula · Boris C Bastian
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nevus of Ota is a variant of congenital nevus, which is morphologically paucicellular and resembles a common blue nevus. Although nevus of Ota is a risk factor for uveal melanoma in white people, the development of cutaneous melanoma within nevus of Ota is a very rare occurrence with only a few reported cases. We present a case of a long-standing nevus of Ota, with radiologic imaging demonstrating a large retro-orbital mass and a biopsy showing melanoma. The histopathology of the eye exenteration specimen illustrated various stages of melanocytic progression including areas resembling a nevus of Ota, blue nevus, cellular blue nevus, and melanoma. There was heterogeneity in the overtly malignant sections with some areas displaying expansile nodules of blander appearing spindled cells, whereas other areas were composed of epithelioid cells with higher mitotic counts and zones of necrosis. The extensive lesion also infiltrated the soft tissue and bone. We performed gene mutation analysis for GNAQ, BRAF, NRAS, and KIT and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) targeting commonly altered chromosomal loci in melanoma and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). Copy number changes typical of melanoma were identified by both FISH and CGH in the morphologically malignant areas illustrating the relationship of tumor progression and the progressive acquisition of genetic aberrations.
    Article · May 2010 · The American Journal of dermatopathology
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    Limin Yu · Paul W Harms · Pedram Pouryazdanparast · [...] · Douglas R Fullen
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nodal, a potent embryonic morphogen in the transforming growth factor-beta family, is a proposed key regulator of melanoma tumorigenicity. However, there has been no systematic study of Nodal expression in melanocytic lesions. We investigated Nodal expression by immunohistochemistry in 269 melanocytic lesions, including compound nevi, dysplastic nevi, congenital nevi, Spitz nevi, melanoma in situ, malignant melanoma including the variant desmoplastic melanoma, and metastatic melanoma. We found that the Nodal expression was significantly increased in malignant lesions (including melanoma in situ, malignant melanoma, and metastatic melanoma) compared with compound nevi, Spitz nevi, and dysplastic nevi. Surprisingly, congenital nevi expressed a level of Nodal comparable with malignant lesions, whereas desmoplastic melanoma showed lower expression than nondesmoplastic malignant melanoma (P<0.05). Deep melanoma (Breslow depth >1 mm) displayed a higher percentage of Nodal-positive tumor cells than did superficial melanoma (Breslow depth < or =1 mm), although there was no statistical difference in the overall staining intensity (P=0.18). Melanomas in situ showed a lower level of Nodal expression than did deep melanomas and metastatic melanomas (P<0.05). The low expression of Nodal in normal and dysplastic nevi, and its increasing expression with the progression of malignant lesions, are suggestive of a role for Nodal in melanoma progression.
    Full-text available · Article · May 2010 · Modern Pathology
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    Pedram Pouryazdanparast · Limin Yu · Vanessa K Dalton · [...] · Douglas R Fullen
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intravascular histiocytosis (IVH) is a rare reactive cutaneous lesion of unknown pathogenesis. Most cases are reported in association with rheumatoid arthritis, and cutaneous eruptions typically occur near swollen joints. The skin changes have included erythematous and violaceous macules, papules, plaques and indurated patches with a livedo-like pattern of erythema. We report the first case of IVH presenting with florid vulvar necrosis in an 87-year-old patient without a history of rheumatoid arthritis. Physical examination revealed an edematous, exudative and diffusely necrotic vulva with erythema surrounding the areas of necrosis, extending out to the thighs. The debrided skin revealed an extensively necrotic epidermis and multiple clusters of markedly dilated blood vessels within the dermis. These vessels contained fibrin thrombi admixed with numerous CD68(+) and CD163(+) histiocytes. Her skin changes improved significantly after surgical debridement and treatment with antibiotics. Interestingly, our patient was also found to have a lupus anticoagulant with elevated anticardiolipin antibodies. This is the first report of IVH possibly related to a thrombogenic diathesis associated with a hypercoagulable state. A diagnosis of IVH is important and may necessitate further clinical evaluation to exclude the possibility of co-existent systemic disease.
    Full-text available · Article · Oct 2009 · Journal of Cutaneous Pathology
  • Pedram Pouryazdanparast · Limin Yu · Timothy Johnson · Douglas Fullen
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presence of two intermingled malignant components within the same cutaneous tumor is rare. Herein, we report a case of an exceedingly rare squamo-melanocytic tumor, favored to be a melanoma variant. Although the biologic behavior and prognostic significance of this tumor remain to be established, this unique case reaffirms the potential morphologic diversity of melanoma. We review the literature reporting similar neoplasms and discuss the potential histogenesis of this squamo-melanocytic tumor.
    Article · Aug 2009 · The American Journal of dermatopathology
  • Pedram Pouryazdanparast · Marissa Newman · Mariam Mafee · [...] · Pedram Gerami
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Blue nevus (BN)-like cutaneous melanoma metastasis is a well-recognized variant of melanoma metastasis. These lesions may clinically and histologically simulate benign blue nevi. The histologic changes may be indistinguishable from conventional blue nevi or epithelioid blue nevi (EBN), a benign dermal-based melanocytic neoplasm with epithelioid morphology and heavily pigmented cytoplasm. Distinguishing BN-like cutaneous melanoma metastasis from benign conventional or EBN is important for staging and treatment. We evaluated a fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay using probes targeting 6p25 (RREB1), 6q23 (MYB), 11q13 (CCND1), and centromere 6 (Cep6) with previously determined criteria, to distinguish EBN and BN-like melanoma metastasis. Ten BN-like cutaneous melanoma metastatic lesions and 10 EBN were blindly evaluated with the above mentioned FISH probes. FISH enumeration and criteria for diagnosis of melanoma was as previously described. Nine of 10 BN-like cutaneous metastatic lesions showed significant aberrations and met previously established criteria for melanoma. None of the EBN cases showed evidence of significant copy number changes or met FISH criteria for a diagnosis of melanoma. FISH is an important diagnostic adjunct for melanocytic neoplasms. In this study, we show that a FISH assay targeting 6p25, 6q23, 11q13, and centromere 6 can distinguish EBN from BN-like metastatic melanoma with high accuracy. The test and the parameters previously established can perform with high sensitivity and specificity when dealing with this differential diagnosis.
    Article · Aug 2009 · The American journal of surgical pathology
  • Pedram Pouryazdanparast · Marissa Newman · Mariam Mafee · [...] · Pedram Gerami
    Article · Jul 2009 · The American Journal of dermatopathology
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    Pedram Pouryazdanparast · Limin Yu · Jonathan E Cutlan · [...] · Linglei Ma
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The histologic diagnosis of atypical fibroxanthoma (AFX) can sometimes be challenging. No specific marker exists to confirm the diagnosis other than excluding other entities. CD163 has been shown to have great specificity for tumors of monocyte/histiocyte lineage. In this study, we evaluated the diagnostic utility of CD163 in diagnosing AFX and in identifying skin lesions with histiocytic/dendritic derivation. A total of 157 cases, including 14 AFXs, 5 spindle cell squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), and 7 spindle cell/desmoplastic melanomas, along with other cutaneous spindle cell and histiocytic/fibrohistiocytic lesions, were stained with CD163. CD163 was expressed in 11 of 14 (79%) AFXs, with moderate to strong intensity. No staining was observed in cases of spindle cell SCC (0/5) and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (0/10). Rare spindle cell/desmoplastic melanomas (2/7) and cutaneous leiomyosarcomas (1/5) demonstrated positive staining. CD163 reactivity was seen in 24 of 29 of benign fibrous histiocytomas (BFHs), including 8 of 8 cellular fibrous histiocytomas and 6 of 9 epithelioid cell histiocytomas. The majority of cutaneous histiocytic lesions, including juvenile xanthogranuloma, Langerhans cell histiocytosis and Rosai-Dorfman disease, were positive for CD163. CD163 is a useful adjunct in distinguishing AFX from other malignant cutaneous spindle cell tumors and offers improved specificity in identifying cutaneous histiocytic/dendritic lesions.
    Full-text available · Article · Dec 2008 · Journal of Cutaneous Pathology