Background: Cutaneous spindle cell squamous cell carcinoma (SCSCC) is a rare variant of SCC. This lesion is sometimes difficult to diagnose based purely on morphologic features. p63 is a member of the p53 gene family that can be identified in epithelial malignancies.
Methods: Thirteen cases of spindle SCC were stained with p63, CK34βE12, MNF116, vimentin, and S100. Control cases included desmoplastic melanoma (eight cases), atypical fibroxanthoma (AFX) (10 cases), dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (eight cases), and cutaneous leiomyosarcoma (LMS) (four cases).
Results: p63 was expressed diffusely in the nuclei of 100% (13/13) of SCSCCs. Of controls, p63 showed focal labeling of two LMS and two AFX. MNF116 and CK34βE12 were positive in 13/13 SCSCCs. Of controls, one LMS was focally positive for MNF116. All SCSCCs and all control cases were positive for vimentin.
Conclusions: In the given differential diagnosis, p63 appears relatively specific to SCSCC and adds a useful nuclear marker to the available repertoire. The findings also suggest that cytokeratins MNF116 and CK34βE12 may be more useful than standard cytokeratins in labeling SCSCC.