Pathology of challenging melanocytic neoplasms. Diagnosis and Management. Christopher R. Shea, Jon A. Reed, Victor G. Prieto (Editors). Springer (2015)

Accurate diagnosis of a challenging melanocytic neoplasm requires adequate (i.e., representative) clinical sampling of the lesion and careful microscopic examination of histological sections. Adequate microscopic examination of a lesion in turn depends on the proper transport, gross prosection, and tissue processing of the clinical specimen to assure optimum histology. These technical considerations also are important to preserve tissues for additional immunohistochemical or molecular diagnostic studies if required. As such, tissue handling is becoming an increasingly important variable as newer, more sophisticated molecular tests are developed to provide better diagnostic and prognostic information and to identify specific aberrations with actionable treatment options for individual patients. Many of the newer molecular diagnostic tests have been developed for use on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues [1–4]. The objective of this chapter is to summarize current best practice techniques for the gross examination and prosection of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded cutaneous specimens containing melanocytic lesions.

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