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August 1991

Transforming Growth Factor a Expression Helps to Distinguish Keratoacanthomas From Squamous Cell Carcinomas

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institution, Baltimore, Md.

Arch Dermatol. 1991;127(8):1167-1171. doi:10.1001/archderm.1991.01680070067007

• Keratoacanthomas may be difficult to distinguish histologically from squamous cell carcinomas. We studied 20 keratoacanthomas and 22 squamous cell carcinomas immunohistochemically using an antibody directed against transforming growth factor α to determine if the pattern of transforming growth factor α expression would provide a useful method of differentiating these tumors. Ninety percent of the keratoacanthomas demonstrated a diffuse pattern within tumor lobules in which all but the most peripheral rim of cells were stained. A similar localization of transforming growth factor α was not identified in squamous cell carcinomas. In addition, 40% of the squamous cell carcinomas but none of the keratoacanthomas showed focal transforming growth factor α immunostaining. Our results suggest that transforming growth factor α expression may be a marker of epithelial differentiation and may help distinguish between these two tumors.

(Arch Dermatol. 1991;127:1167-1171)

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