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J Dermatol. 2009 Jun;36(6):346-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1346-8138.2009.00650.x.

Primary dermal melanoma: A case report and molecular characterization.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Japan.


Swetter et al. proposed primary dermal melanoma (PDM) as a distinct entity based on an excellent prognosis. The histopathological features of PDM are extremely similar to those of metastatic melanoma or clear cell sarcoma (CCS). We describe a 38-year-old woman with a subcutaneous tumor in her left thigh. Physical and imaging examinations showed no evidence of metastatic melanoma. The lesion showed obvious strong expression of KIT by immunohistochemistry, but no EWS-ATF1 fusion transcript specific for CCS was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. In further analyses of KIT expression in other tumors, three of four primary melanomas (75%) and six of 12 metastatic melanomas (50%) were moderately or strongly positive, however, both the primary and metastatic lesions of CCS tested negative. We believe this to be a case of PDM, and emphasize the distinctiveness of PDM.

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