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Dermatology Online Journal

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Cutaneous perivascular epithelioid cell tumor (PEComa): case report and world literature review of clinical and molecular characteristics


Perivascular epithelioid cell tumor (PEComa) expresses melanocytic and smooth muscle markers. A man with a primary malignant cutaneous (distal left forearm) PEComa is reported. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated MiTF, HMB-45, caldesmon, desmin, and smooth muscle actin, as well as BCL1, CD10, and CD68. Next generation sequencing showed four pathogenic genomic aberrations involving BIRC3, FANCC, TP53, and TSC1 genes. His work-up was negative for metastatic disease; a wide local excision was performed. Including the reported patient, cutaneous PEComa has been described in 65 individuals: primary benign (N=58), primary malignant (N=5), and metastatic malignant (N=2). Cutaneous PEComa typically presented as a painless, slowly growing nodule of <2 centimeters on the lower extremity of a woman in her fifth decade. The neoplasms consisted of epithelioid cells, spindle cells, or both. The most reliable markers were MiTF (100%), HMB45 (94%), and NKIC3 (94%) for melanocytes and smooth muscle actin (43%) and desmin (40%) for smooth muscle. There has been no reported recurrence of a primary cutaneous benign or malignant PEComa after complete excision. Genomic alterations in malignant PEComas frequently involve TSC1 and TSC2 genes (mTOR activators), as well as TFE3 fusions. In November 2021, the FDA approved nab-sirolimus (mTOR inhibitor) for PEComas.

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