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November 14, 2019

Atypical Spitz Tumor of the Lower Lip in a Pediatric Patient

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego
  • 2Division of Pathology, University of California, San Diego, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego
  • 3Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, San Diego, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020;146(2):203-205. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2019.3385

Spitz tumors are melanocytic lesions that span the spectrum from benign Spitz nevi to malignant Spitz melanomas with potential for widespread metastasis.1,2 The classification of “atypical Spitz tumors” (ASTs) describes the heterogeneous body between these 2 extremes, loosely defined as having 1 or more atypical features not characteristic of benign Spitz nevi.1,2 Although local recurrence and spread to regional lymph nodes is common,3,4 ASTs do not usually metastasize or affect patient survival.4 However, in the absence of clear markers that reliably distinguish them from malignant melanomas,5 ASTs pose a unique diagnostic and treatment challenge.

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