About the Spitzoid Neoplasm Repository

The Spitzoid Neoplasm Repository is a compilation of tissue samples and data on a large number of Spitzoid lesions from patients throughout the United States and the rest of the world. 

The repository includes primary lesions as well as tissue material from subsequent biopsies performed in conjunction with the primary Spitzoid neoplasm.  All components of the repository are securely stored at the Yale Dermatopathology Laboratory.

Relevant clinical data about the course of the disease is of paramount importance in the collection of information and categorization of the Spitzoid lesions.

Our Goals

The goal of the repository is to better understand Spitzoid neoplasm biology and reliably diagnose and treat Spitzoid neoplasms.

To do so, we plan to:

  • Conduct research studies including immunohistochemical, molecular, and genetic studies in order to identify specific markers and/or genetic aberrations in the lesional cells.
  • Explore new diagnostic techniques and modalities to better differentiate between benign Spitz nevi and malignant melanomas in equivocal cases.
  • Correlate the results of these studies with the clinical information in order to better differentiate and categorize Spitzoid neoplasms.

By pursuing these goals, we hope to prevent aggressive surgical treatment in children and young adults.

Principal Investigator

Rossitza Lazova, MD

  • Associate Professor of Dermatology and Pathology
  • Director, Dermatopathology Fellowship Program

Research interests:
Melanocytic nevi on special anatomic sites and their histologic characteristics, malignant melanoma, Spitz’s nevi, and spitzoid melanocytic neoplasms, melanomas with heavily pigmented and multinucleated melanocytes, presumably hybrids with melanophages.