Are keratoacanthomas variants of squamous cell carcinomas? A comparison of chromosomal aberrations by comparative genomic hybridization.
Keratoacanthoma (KA) is a benign keratinocytic neoplasm that usually presents as a solitary nodule on sunexposed areas, develops within 6-8 weeks and spontaneously regresses after 3-6 months. KAs share features such as infiltration and cytological atypia with squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). Furthermore, there are reports of KAs that have metastasized, invoking the question of whether or not KA is a variant of SCC. To date no reported criteria are sensitive enough to discriminate reliably between KA and SCC, and consequently there is a clinical need for discriminating markers. We screened fresh frozen material from 132 KAs and 37 SCCs for gross chromosomal aberrations by using comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). Forty-nine KAs (37.1%) and 31 SCCs (83.7%) showed genomic aberrations, indicating a higher degree of chromosomal instability in SCCs. Gains of chromosomal material from 1p, 14q, 16q, 20q, and losses from 4p were seen significantly more frequently in SCCs compared with KAs (P-values 0.0033, 0.0198, 0.0301, 0.0017, and 0.0070), whereas loss from 9p was seen significantly more frequently in KAs (P-value 0.0434). The patterns of recurrent aberrations were also different in the two types of neoplasms, pointing to different genetic mechanisms involved in their developments.