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Melanoma Res. 2000 Aug;10(4):371-80.

Minimal deviation and/or naevoid melanoma: is recognition worthwhile? A clinicopathological study of nine cases.

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Department of Surgical Oncology, University Hospitals, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.


One to two per cent of primary cutaneous melanomas share clinical features with benign melanocytic and non-melanocytic skin lesions, and even at histology recognition of their malignant nature is problematic, mainly due to the lack of an intraepithelial component, their nodular aspect and the monotonous cell population throughout the lesion. These tumours were termed minimal deviation melanomas (MDMs) by Reed et al. and later naevoid melanomas by Schmoeckel et al. The name MDM suggests the concept of a more favourable outcome for these melanomas that do not (yet) show the typical features of fully evolved lesions able to metastasize, although naevoid melanomas seem to behave like 'common' melanomas. In a retrospective analysis of nine cases of MDM collected from our database and followed for a median duration of 112 months, we faced similar clinical and histological pitfalls and observed local recurrence following marginal resection. Wide excision, even of local recurrence, and therapeutic node dissection could nevertheless provide survival comparable at least to that predicted by mathematical models for patients who initially had optimal treatment.

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