Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
Aims: To report five malignant trichogenic tumours arising in longstanding, previously benign adnexal neoplasms through malignant transformation. Malignant trichogenic adnexal tumours are extremely rare neoplasms.Methods and results: The patients were between 55 years and 79 years of age. Three of the tumours were located on the arms, two on the face. Three of our patients had a history of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, one patient had a history of colonic adenocarcinoma. The duration of the tumour nodules was reported as between 20 and 40 years before sudden changes occurred. These changes included rapid growth, pain, itching, ulceration and bleeding. Histologically, all tumours were well circumscribed and encapsulated. There was a residual benign tumour component and morphological signs such as bone formation, dystrophic calcification and sclerosis suggesting long duration of the lesions. All patients except for one, who refused further clinical investigation due to her advanced age of 79 years, had an underlying systemic malignancy.Conclusions: The growth stimulus in these benign adnexal neoplasms resulting in malignant transformation may be attributed to the acquisition of additional genetic events or to immunosuppression due to an underlying neoplastic disease. Therefore, patients with systemic diseases or malignancy should be carefully examined and followed for sudden changes in pre-existing benign cutaneous tumours.
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