Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism Array for Histologically Ambiguous Melanocytic Tumors

Katherine B. Geiersbach, Troy J. Gliem, Sarah M. Jenkins, Athanasios G. Gaitatzes, Pamela R. Brodersen, Megan E. Negro, Megan J. Clees, Kirsten E. Swanson, Riley M. Boeckman, Travis J. Natrop, William R. Sukov, Kabeer K. Shah, Patricia T. Greipp, Ross A. Rowsey, Thomas J. Flotte, Lori A. Erickson, Ruifeng Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genome-wide copy number profiling by single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array is increasingly employed in the clinical diagnostic workup of melanocytic tumors. We present our SNP array results on 675 melanocytic tumors, including 615 histologically ambiguous tumors evaluated by our institution's dermatopathology consultation service and a separate validation cohort of 26 known benign nevi and 34 known malignant melanomas. The total number of somatic copy number abnormalities, sub-chromosomal copy number abnormalities, regions of homozygosity, and abnormalities at disease-associated regions was significantly associated with a diagnosis of malignancy across disease categories. In our study, the number of copy number abnormalities was the factor that best discriminated between benign versus malignant diagnoses, confirming recent published research. Histologically ambiguous tumors had a range and spectrum of abnormalities, including recurrent 11p gains, copy state transitions over kinase genes, and 3p deletions overlapping BAP1 in neoplasms with Spitzoid morphology. Our data suggest that histologically ambiguous melanocytic neoplasms and early primary melanomas have a range of abnormalities that is intermediate between unambiguous benign or malignant melanocytic neoplasms. Careful technical review and an integrated diagnostic approach are essential for the accurate interpretation of SNP array results on histologically ambiguous melanocytic tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1160-1170
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Molecular Diagnostics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Medicine


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