Impact of Next-generation Sequencing on Interobserver Agreement and Diagnosis of Spitzoid Neoplasms.

Benton S, Zhao J, Zhang B, Bahrami A, Barnhill RL, Busam K, Cerroni L, Cook MG, de la Fouchardière A, Elder DE, Johansson I, Landman G, Lazar A, LeBoit P, Lowe L, Massi D, Duncan LM, Messina J, Mihic-Probst D, Mihm MC Jr, Piepkorn MW, Schmidt B, Scolyer RA, Shea CR, Tetzlaff MT, Tron VA, Xu X, Yeh I, Yun SJ, Zembowicz A, Gerami P. Am J Surg Pathol. 2021 Dec 1;45(12):1597-1605


Atypical Spitzoid melanocytic tumors are diagnostically challenging. Many studies have suggested various genomic markers to improve classification and prognostication. We aimed to assess whether next-generation sequencing studies using the Tempus xO assay assessing mutations in 1711 cancer-related genes and performing whole transcriptome mRNA sequencing for structural alterations could improve diagnostic agreement and accuracy in assessing neoplasms with Spitzoid histologic features. Twenty expert pathologists were asked to review 70 consultation level cases with Spitzoid features, once with limited clinical information and again with additional genomic information. There was an improvement in overall agreement with additional genomic information. Most significantly, there was increase in agreement of the diagnosis of conventional melanoma from moderate (κ=0.470, SE=0.0105) to substantial (κ=0.645, SE=0.0143) as measured by an average Cohen κ. Clinical follow-up was available in all 70 cases which substantiated that the improved agreement was clinically significant. Among 3 patients with distant metastatic disease, there was a highly significant increase in diagnostic recognition of the cases as conventional melanoma with genomics (P<0.005). In one case, none of 20 pathologists recognized a tumor with BRAF and TERT promoter mutations associated with fatal outcome as a conventional melanoma when only limited clinical information was provided, whereas 60% of pathologists correctly diagnosed this case when genomic information was also available. There was also a significant improvement in agreement of which lesions should be classified in the Spitz category/WHO Pathway from an average Cohen κ of 0.360 (SE=0.00921) to 0.607 (SE=0.0232) with genomics.