Atypical fibroxanthoma (AFX)-like malignant melanoma is very rare. Here, we report a case of amelanotic AFX-like melanoma in a 72-year-old Taiwanese woman presenting with two separate, asymptomatic, enlarging erythematous nodules within a large hypopigmented patch on her left cheek. Histologically, both lesions showed cellular nodules in the reticular dermis separated from the overlying flattened epidermis by a zone of solar elastosis or fibrosis. The tumor consisted of sheets of atypical epithelioid cells arranged in a vague nesting pattern, as well as many atypical large or gigantic cells with one or more, large hyperchromatic, vesicular, or pleomorphic nuclei with prominent nucleoli, and moderate-to-abundant eosinophilic or foamy cytoplasm. Focal intraepidermal proliferation of atypical melanocytes with a pagetoid pattern was found only in the periphery of the main tumor. The tumor cells were moderately to strongly positive for S-100, Melan-A, and HMB-45. The pleomorphic giant cells were focally CD68-positive but CD163-negative. The patient underwent tumor excision followed by radiotherapy due to the narrow surgical margins. A sentinel lymph node biopsy revealed no metastasis of the melanoma. This case illustrates the importance of scrutinizing any subtle proliferation of atypical melanocytes in the epidermis in an AFX-like tumor in order to avoid misdiagnosis.
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