Spitz Tumors of the Skin

Surg Pathol Clin. 2017 Jun;10(2):281-298. doi: 10.1016/j.path.2017.01.004. Epub 2017 Mar 31.


Spitz tumors are melanocytic neoplasms hallmarked by large cell size, lack of high-grade atypia, and a regular architecture. Most are nonpigmented or poorly pigmented. Malignant potential ranges from absent (Spitz nevus), to fully present (spitzoid melanoma), with a further, ill-defined group of Spitz tumors with limited metastatic potential. Microscopic evaluation may prove inconclusive in some instances, resulting in a verdict of Spitz tumor of uncertain malignant potential (STUMP). STUMP is, therefore, not an entity, and should not be equated with Spitz tumors with limited metastatic potential. Novel diagnostic techniques are yielding promising results, and further evaluation is ongoing.

Keywords: Childhood melanoma; Melanoma diagnosis; STUMP; Spitz nevus; Spitzoid melanoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Nevus, Epithelioid and Spindle Cell
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*