Melanoma is a malignant tumor of the melanocytes. These are the cells present in the skin and the eyes. They are responsible for the skin color of a person. Melanoma is considered the most lethal form of skin cancer. An early detection gives the patients a better chance for survival. Melanoma is a principal metastasizing tumor and is described as a primary tumor. One of the forms of melanoma is neurotropic melanoma. It is characterized by spindle shaped cells showing patterns of neuroma.
In neurotropic melanoma, there is an abrasion that produces a cutaneous fibrous tumor. Neurotropic melanoma results in a perineural invasion and expansion along peripheral nerves. Its microscopic picture is characterized by patterns of schwann and spindle cells. They appear as poorly defined margins. It is difficult to diagnose this pattern as it can be confused with the sarcomatous lesions.
Desmoplastic melanomas, spindle cell melanomas and neurotropic melanomas are all malignant tumours of the same cell. Spindle cell melanomas have cells, lesions of which are large and epithelioid or rounded. Epithelioid and spindle cell nodular melanoma have certain features of the lesion. It is a prominent, ulcerated expansive nodule, involving papillary and reticular dermis. It contains elastotic material and shows epidermal collarette.
The lesions are observed on the head and neck region of the patient. They are present as bulky firm fibrous masses of tumor, usually amelanotic lesions. Their microscopic observations show poor, demarcated, infiltrating intradermal tumors, often with sparse cellularity. The tumor consists of elongated spindle-shaped or fibroblast cells, surrounded by mature collagen bundles. Spindle cell melanomas are common. The cells of such lesions are large, epithelioid or rounded. The tumor displays fascicular or storiform growth pattern. Sometimes spindle cell patterns in the dermal component of a melanoma are commonly mistaken for the patterns of a spitz.