Spitz nevi and other Spitzoid lesions: Part II. Natural history and management

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Abstract

For dermatologists, evidence-based management guidelines for Spitz tumors have not been established. Despite the lack of a standardized approach, most dermatologists recommend the excision of Spitz tumors occurring in adults and adopt more conservative measures towards pediatric cases. The histopathologic attributes and the clinical scenario are factored into management in each case. While the metastatic behavior of certain Spitz tumors is well known, the malignant potential of these lesions remains unclear because they only rarely result in negative outcomes. The risks and benefits of adjunctive measures, such as sentinel lymph node biopsy and interferon use, remain untested and are subjects of ongoing controversy. (In part II of this continuing medical education article, we will continue to use the terminology defined in part I for purposes of continuity. “Spitz tumor” is used as the umbrella term for the entire category of lesions, “common Spitz nevi” refers to only the most typical lesions seen in pediatric cases, and “atypical Spitz tumors” encompass the “all other” category, which continues to cause debate.)

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