The large spectrum of Spitzoid tumors: a retrospective survival study

Paolo Broganelli, Simone Ribero, Ilaria Castagno, Fulvio Ricceri, Tommaso Deboli, Elena Marra, Carlo Tomasini, Carlotta Sacerdote, Simona Osella-Abate, Martina Sanlorenzo, Pietro Quaglino, Maria T. Fierro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: There is no universally-accepted classification of Spitzoid tumors. This makes it difficult to assign a correct diagnosis and select a treatment that minimizes the risk of overestimating, or worse, underestimating, the malignant potential of these tumors. The aim of this study was to describe the clinical-pathological and epidemiological features of Spitzoid tumors, as well as to assess mortality in these patients. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study looked at data on Spitzoid tumors excised in 1999-2012 at the Dermatologic Clinic of the Turin University Hospital. Spitzoid melanoma specific survival curves were generated with the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test. RESULTS: In this time period, 1663 lesion were described at the pathologic report as Spitzoid. 262 (15.75%) were Spitz nevi, 307 (18.46%) Reed nevi, 827 (49.73%), 810 (48.71%) Spitzoid dysplastic nevi, 17(1.02%) atypical Spitzoid tumors, and 267 (16.06%) Spitzoid melanomas. Median follow-up time was 9 years. Out of the entire cohort only 24 patients died from melanoma. All of them received a diagnosis of Spitzoid melanoma. None of the patients with a diagnosis of not melanoma Spitz tumor died for melanoma during the follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: In the large majority of the cases, Spitz tumor should be considered as benign lesion and excised only if melanoma features are seen. The used clinical pathological classification avoid misdiagnoses, inappropriate treatment and the risk of death for melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-320
Number of pages6
JournalGiornale italiano di dermatologia e venereologia : organo ufficiale, Societa italiana di dermatologia e sifilografia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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