Complementary value of molecular analysis to expert review in refining classification of uncommon soft tissue tumors

Albert J H Suurmeijer, Brendan C Dickson, Cristina R Antonescu*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review


The classification of many soft tissue tumors remains subjective due their rarity, significant overlap in microscopic features and often a non-specific immunohistochemical (IHC) profile. The application of molecular genetic tools, which leverage the underlying molecular pathogenesis of these neoplasms, have considerably improved the diagnostic abilities of pathologists and refined classification based on objective molecular markers. In this study, we describe the results of an international collaboration conducted over a 3-year period, assessing the added diagnostic value of applying molecular genetics to sarcoma expert pathologic review in a selected series of 84 uncommon, mostly unclassifiable mesenchymal tumors, 74 of which originated in soft tissues and 10 in bone. The case mix (71% historical, 29% contemporary) included mostly unusual and challenging soft tissue tumors, which remained unclassified even with the benefit of expert review and routine ancillary methods, including broad IHC panels and a limited number of commercially available fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probes. All cases were further tested by FISH using a wide range of custom bacterial artificial chromosome probes covering most of known fusions in sarcomas, whereas targeted RNA sequencing was performed in 13 cases negative by FISH, for potential discovery of novel fusion genes. Tumor-defining molecular alterations were found in 48/84 tumors (57%). In 27 (32%) cases the tumor diagnosis was refined or revised by the additional molecular work-up, including five cases (6%), in which the updated diagnosis had clinical implications. Sarcoma classification is rapidly evolving due to an increased molecular characterization of these neoplasms, so unsurprisingly 17% of the tumors in this series harbored abnormalities only very recently described as defining novel molecularly defined soft tissue tumor subsets.

Originele taal-2English
TijdschriftGenes Chromosomes & Cancer
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 13-sep.-2023

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