Original ArticlesActivating Structural Alterations in MAPK Genes Are Distinct Genetic Drivers in a Unique Subgroup Of Spitzoid NeoplasmsQuan, Victor L. BA*; Zhang, Bin MS*; Mohan, Lauren S. MSc*; Shi, Katherine BS*; Isales, Maria C. MD, MPH†; Panah, Elnaz MD*; Taxter, Timothy J. MD‡; Beaubier, Nike MD‡; White, Kevin PhD‡; Gerami, Pedram MD*Author Information Departments of *Dermatology †Pathology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University ‡Tempus Labs Inc., Chicago, IL Reviewed and approved by Northwestern IRB, STU1127. Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: Supported by the IDP Foundation. P.G. has been a consultant for Castle Biosciences Inc. and DermTech Inc., and has received honoraria for this. The remaining authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article. Correspondence: Pedram Gerami, MD, Department of Dermatology, Northwestern University, 676 N. St. Clair St. Suite 1765, Chicago, IL 60611 (e-mail: [email protected]). The American Journal of Surgical Pathology: April 2019 - Volume 43 - Issue 4 - p 538-548 doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000001213 Buy Metrics Abstract Recent studies have described kinase fusions as the most common initiating genomic events in Spitzoid neoplasms. Each rearrangement generates a chimeric protein with constitutive activation of the tyrosine kinase domain, resulting in the development of a Spitzoid neoplasm. Identifying key initiating genomic events and drivers may assist in diagnosis, prognostication, and management. Retrospective, consecutive search of our database between 2009 and 2018 for Spitzoid neoplasms identified 86 cases. Whole transcriptome mRNA and DNA sequencing (1714 genes) detected 9% of cases (8/86) with structural rearrangements in MAPK genes other than BRAF and 47% (40/86) with kinase fusions previously described in Spitzoid neoplasms. We identified in-frame fusions of MAP3K8-DIPC2, MAP3K8-PCDH7, MAP3K8-UBL3, MAP3K8-SVIL (n=6), and ATP2A2-MAP3K3 (n=1) as well as a p.I103_K104 in-frame deletion of MAP2K1 (n=1), in the absence of well-recognized drivers of melanocytic neoplasia. Fluorescence in situ hybridization validated all cases (n=7) with available tissue. Cases occurred in younger patients (median age 18 y). Morphologically, cases were predominantly epithelioid (P=0.0032), often with some melanin pigment (P=0.0047), and high-grade nuclear atypia (P=0.012). A significant proportion were thought to be Spitzoid melanomas (3/8). Average follow-up time was 11 months. One MAP3K8-DIP2C Spitzoid melanoma involved 4/5 sentinel lymph nodes and led to a complete lymph node dissection with unremarkable follow-up at 9 months. One MAP3K8-DIPC2 atypical Spitz tumor raised concern for recurrence at 10 months and was reexcised. We present a distinct subtype of Spitzoid neoplasm characterized by structural alterations in MAPK genes, which are important to recognize given the potential for treatment with MAPK inhibitors in metastatic cases. Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.