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April 1960

Benign Mixed Tumor of Melanocytes and Malpighian Cells: Melanoacanthoma: Its Relationship to Bloch's Benign Non-Nevoid Melanoepithelioma

Author Affiliations


From the Departments of Dermatology, Wayne State University College of Medicine and Detroit Receiving Hospital, and the Detroit Institute of Cancer Research.

AMA Arch Derm. 1960;81(4):539-550. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.03730040043009

In 1927 Bloch1 described benign non-nevoid melanoepithelioma of the skin and subdivided it into two types. Type I consists of a mixture of basal cells, prickle cells, and highly dendritic melanocytes. Type II is composed mainly of deeply pigmented small cells of basal type.

Review of Literature  Since Bloch's time many authors have referred to these tumors under a bewildering variety of names and offered contradictory interpretations of their nature and classification (Table 1). This confusion can be traced to several factors in Bloch's original publication. Bloch was one of the exponents of the thesis that nevus cells are modified melanocytes, and that epidermal melanocytes are modified basal cells. Therefore, when he found pigmented epidermal tumors without the formation of nevus cells, he called them "non-nevoid" in distinction from pigmented nevus cell tumors. He made no distinction between lesions consisting of pigmented Malpighian cells without dendritic melanocytes (Type II)

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