November 2001

Genomic Approaches to Skin Cancer Diagnosis

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Dermatology and Pathology and the Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco.


Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001

Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(11):1507-1511. doi:10.1001/archderm.137.11.1507

Dermatopathologic analysis is the gold standard for the diagnosis of skin cancer. It is an accurate and cost-efficient method for classification of most cutaneous neoplasms. However, despite constantly refined morphological criteria, there remain areas in which histopathologic analysis does not permit an unequivocal diagnosis. Among these, lymphoproliferative and melanocytic lesions present the most frequent diagnostic problems. The predicaments of less-than-optimal agreement between observers and misdiagnosis of these disorders are well documented.17 Failure to recognize melanoma, as well as lymphoma, leads the list of malpractice claims among general pathologists, let alone dermatopathologists.8 The advent of therapeutic interventions for melanoma, some of which have serious adverse effects, makes the need for accurate, early diagnosis more important than ever.

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