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Am J Dermatopathol. 1998 Jun;20(3):262-5.

C-fos protein expression in Spitz nevi, common melanocytic nevi, and malignant melanomas.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Rambam Medical Centre, and the Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel of Technology, Haifa.


The expression of c-fos protein was studied in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections of 11 compound Spitz nevi (SNs), 16 ordinary compound melanocytic nevi (MNs), and 17 malignant melanomas (MMs) using monoclonal antibody MAB1283 and an immunoperoxidase technique. Eleven (100%) SNs, 15 (94%) MNs, and 16 (94%) MMs showed positive reactions in some of the tumor cells (p = nonsignificant). In the majority of the tumors the staining was located in nuclei and graded as moderate to strong in intensity. The percentages of positively stained cells did not differentiate the three types of tumor, although they were higher in the melanocytic nevi. Most of the lesions with a significant dermal component did not show stratification of staining with progressive descent into the dermis. Positive staining for c-fos was also frequently found in the normal skin constituents within and adjacent to the melanocytic tumors. In conclusion, the pattern of expression of c-fos in routinely processed specimens does not differentiate between SNs, MNs, and MMs.

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