Genetic markers of oral malignant melanoma analysed by fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH)

Chiara Baldovini, Anna L. Tosi, Enrico Di Oto, Camilla Reggiani, Susanna Cappia, Christine M. Betts, Carmine Gallo, Lisa Ricchieri, Roberto Cocchi, Maria P. Foschini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oral malignant melanoma (OMM) is a rare condition, and our knowledge about morphological and genetic modifications is scanty and incomplete. The aim of this study is to report morphological and fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) data obtained in four cases of OMM. FISH results were also compared with those of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM, three cases), desmoplastic cutaneous melanoma (DMM, four cases) and spindle cells cutaneous melanoma (SCCM, one case). All the OMM cases showed a combined radial and vertical growth pattern, with the invasive component characterised by malignant spindle cells intermingled among collagen bundles. Two cases of OMM resulted positively stained with p16, in contrast with frequent loss of immunoreactivity in CMM. Three OMM were suitable for FISH analysis: 9p21 locus was deleted in 1/3, 1p36 resulted deleted 3/3, while EGFR gene showed a relative deletion. Similar genetic alterations were found in DMM and SCMM, but not in CMM. Ultrastructural findings further enhanced differences between OMM and CMM; OMM displayed, mature-staged melanosomes only within in situ component. In conclusion, OMM presents a morphological and genetic profile similar to DMM; and SCCM, however, displays some differences from CMM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-173
Number of pages7
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • 9p21
  • Desmoplastic melanoma
  • EGFR
  • Melanoma
  • Oral cavity
  • Spindle cell melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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