THORACIC VERTEBRAE - Metastic melanoma

This is a segment of the thoracic vertebrae showing collapse of two vertebrae with obvious destruction of bone. There is a sclerotic area apparent at the periphery of the lower lesion; the intervertebral discs are intact. No tumour tissue as such is obvious but the destruction is consistent with tumour infiltration.
This woman presented some 5 months before death with a four-week history of pain in the lumbar spine and left iliac crest. An enlarged lymph node was found in the left axilla; the histology of this was that of metastatic melanoma. No primary site was found. Two months before her death she fell, breaking the right humerus, a pathological fracture was demonstrated and this was treated by internal fixation (see specimen F.44). At autopsy, secondary deposits were demonstrated in lung, liver, omentum, adrenals and brain.