Melanocytic Tumours

  • Peter J. Heenan
  • David E. Elder
  • L. H. Sobin
Part of the World Health Organization International Histological Classification of Tumours book series (HISTOLOG.CLASS)


In the First Edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) Histological Typing of Skin Tumours (1974), malignant melanoma was classified into four categories:
  1. 1.

    Malignant melanoma

  2. 2.

    Malignant melanoma arising in precancerous melanosis, including Hutchinson’s melanotic freckle

  3. 3.

    Malignant melanoma arising in a blue naevus

  4. 4.

    Malignant melanoma arising in giant pigmented naevus

Most melanomas, according to this classification, would belong to categories 1 and 2, the essential histological difference between the two types being the presence of “precancerous melanosis including Hutchinson’s melanotic freckle” in the epidermis adjacent to the invasive neoplasm in category 2, whereas in category 1 there was no such adjacent component.


Papillary Dermis Melanocytic Tumour Nodular Melanoma Superficial Spreading Melanoma Vertical Growth Phase 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. Clement C, Cochran A, Elder DE et al (1991) Histopathologic diagnosis of dysplastic nevi. Concordance among pathologists convened by the WHO melanoma programme. Hum Pathol 22: 313–319.Google Scholar
  2. Defined as in Weiss SW (1994) Histological typing of soft tissue tumours, WHO International Histological Classification of Tumours. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg New York.Google Scholar
  3. Hermanek P, Sobin LH (eds)1992 TNM Classification of Malignant Tumours, 4th edn (2nd revision). Springer-Verlag Heidelberg New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Heenan
    • 1
  • David E. Elder
    • 2
  • L. H. Sobin
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Western Australia Queen Elizabeth II Medical CenterPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Armed Forces Institute of PathologyUSA

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