BACKGROUND: Giant congenital melanocytic naevi (GCMN) convey a 14-fold increased melanoma risk. In contrast, medium congenital melanocytic naevi (MCMN) are rarely associated with malignant transformation. Management of patients with GCMN is challenging and there is no consensus on the most appropriate strategy for treating these patients. OBJECTIVES: To provide a rationale for performing curettage of GCMN in the neonatal period in order to reduce the risk of malignant transformation to melanoma. METHODS: Twenty-six infants with GCMN who underwent biopsies before excisional surgery (n = 7) or curettage (n = 19) during the past 14 years (Academic Hospital, Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and 10 MCMN patients who underwent excision biopsies (Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre) were included in this study. Using these biopsies, we performed genetic and detailed immunohistochemical evaluations of changes that are associated with malignant transformation. Variables of interest included melanoma-associated BRAF mutations, proliferative activity, vascularity, cellular context and extracellular matrix architecture. RESULTS: GCMN and MCMN did not show oncogenic BRAF mutation and displayed similar features with respect to the amount of nonmelanocytic cells within the naevus and matrix architecture. Naevus cells in the superficial component of the GCMN, however, were more proliferative, and this component was more vascular compared with its deep component and with MCMN. In this study, none of the 19 newborn patients who underwent curettage developed a melanoma within a mean follow-up time of 7 years. CONCLUSIONS: The data presented here support the idea that curettage of GCMN in neonates has the potential for lowering the risk of developing cutaneous melanoma by not only obtaining an important numerical reduction of naevus cells but also removing the 'active' melanocytes.
|Tijdschrift||Br J Dermatol 2006|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||154|
|Status||Published - 2006|