Update on diagnosis and treatment of mastocytosis.
Mastocytosis is a disorder characterized by increased numbers of mast cells in tissues. Recent clinical observations highlight the association of mastocytosis with an increased risk of anaphylaxis and underline the diversity of this disease. At the molecular level, recent studies have attempted to unravel specific gene expression profiles for activating c-kit mutations in the etiology of mastocytosis. The diagnosis may be facilitated by surrogate markers and detection of aberrant immunophenotypic surface markers. New therapeutic strategies are in development based on intracellular signal pathways, or on application of topical treatments, as are novel forms of cytoreductive therapy, including tyrosine kinase inhibitors.