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      First description of hematogenously metastasized sclerosing epithelioid fibrosarcoma arising in the uterine cervix

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          Highlights

          • First Case of hematogenously metastasized sclerosing epithelioid fibrosarcoma arising primarily in the cervix uteri.

          • Tumor cells were strongly and diffusely positive for MUC4.

          • Tumor showed a rare EWSR1-CREB3L2 gene fusion.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Clinicopathologic and molecular genetic characterization of low-grade fibromyxoid sarcoma, and cloning of a novel FUS/CREB3L1 fusion gene.

          Low-grade fibromyxoid sarcoma (LGFMS) is an indolent, late-metastasizing malignant soft-tissue tumor that is often mistaken for either more benign or more malignant tumor types. Cytogenetic analyses have identified a recurrent balanced translocation t(7;16) (q32-34;p11), later shown by molecular genetic approaches to result in a FUS/CREB3L2 fusion gene. Whereas preliminary studies suggest that this gene rearrangement is specific for LGFMS, its incidence in this tumor type and the possible existence of variant fusion genes have not yet been addressed. For this purpose, a series of potential LGFMS were obtained from nine different soft-tissue tumor centres and subjected to molecular analysis as well as careful histopathologic review. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis disclosed a FUS/CREB3L2 fusion transcript in 22 of the 23 (96%) cases that remained classified as LGFMS after the histologic re-evaluation and from which RNA of sufficient quality could be extracted, whereas none of the cases that were classified as other tumor types was fusion-positive. In one of the tumors with typical LGFMS appearance, we found that FUS was fused to the CREB3L1 gene instead of CREB3L2. The proteins encoded by these genes both belong to the same basic leucine-zipper family of transcription factors, and display extensive sequence homology in their DNA-binding domains. Thus, it is expected that the novel FUS/CREB3L1 chimera will have a similar impact at the cellular level as the much more common FUS/CREB3L2 fusion protein. Taken together, the results indicate that virtually all LGFMS are characterized by a chimeric FUS/CREB3L2 gene, and that rare cases may display a variant FUS/CREB3L1 fusion.
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            MUC4 is a sensitive and extremely useful marker for sclerosing epithelioid fibrosarcoma: association with FUS gene rearrangement.

            Sclerosing epithelioid fibrosarcoma (SEF) is a rare aggressive fibroblastic neoplasm composed of cords of epithelioid cells embedded in a dense collagenous stroma. The reported immunophenotype of SEF is nonspecific. Some SEF cases show morphologic and molecular overlap with low-grade fibromyxoid sarcoma (LGFMS), suggesting a relationship between these tumor types. MUC4 has recently been identified as a sensitive and specific marker for LGFMS; MUC4 expression was also observed in 2 tumors with hybrid features of SEF and LGFMS. We investigated MUC4 expression in SEF and other epithelioid soft tissue tumors to determine (1) the potential diagnostic utility of MUC4 for SEF and (2) the association between MUC4 expression and FUS rearrangement in SEF. Whole sections of 180 tumors were evaluated: 41 cases of SEF (including 29 "pure" SEF and 12 hybrid LGFMS-SEF), 20 epithelioid sarcomas, 11 clear cell sarcomas, 11 metastatic melanomas, 10 perivascular epithelioid cell tumors, 10 alveolar soft part sarcomas, 10 epithelioid angiosarcomas, 10 epithelioid hemangioendotheliomas, 10 epithelioid gastrointestinal stromal tumors, 10 myoepithelial carcinomas, 17 ossifying fibromyxoid tumors, 10 leiomyosarcomas, and 10 biphasic synovial sarcomas. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed after antigen retrieval using a mouse anti-MUC4 monoclonal antibody. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed on 33 SEF cases using FUS break-apart probes. A subset of cases was also evaluated for EWSR1 and CREB3L2/L1 rearrangements by FISH. Strong diffuse cytoplasmic staining for MUC4 was observed in 32 of 41 (78%) cases of SEF, including all 12 hybrid tumors. FUS rearrangement was detected in 8 of 21 (38%) MUC4-positive cases of SEF with successful FISH studies. The prevalence of FUS rearrangement was similar in hybrid LGFMS-SEF (2 of 6; 33%) and SEF without an LGFMS component (6 of 15; 40%). FUS rearrangement was not detected in any cases of MUC4-negative SEF. Two hybrid tumors had both EWSR1 and CREB3L1 rearrangements. MUC4 expression was also seen in 9 of 10 (90%) biphasic synovial sarcomas, predominantly in the glandular component. All other tumor types were negative for MUC4, apart from focal reactivity in 5 ossifying fibromyxoid tumors, 2 epithelioid gastrointestinal stromal tumors, and 1 myoepithelial carcinoma. MUC4 is a sensitive and relatively specific marker for SEF among epithelioid soft tissue tumors. MUC4 expression occurs more frequently than FUS rearrangement in SEF. The finding of EWSR1 and CREB3L1 rearrangements in 2 cases of hybrid LGFMS-SEF suggests that SEFs are genetically heterogenous. MUC4-positive SEFs with FUS rearrangement are likely closely related to LGFMS. MUC4-positive SEFs that lack FUS rearrangement may be related to LGFMS but could have alternate fusion partners, including EWSR1. SEF without MUC4 expression may represent a distinct group of tumors. MUC4 expression correlates with glandular epithelial differentiation in biphasic synovial sarcoma and is very limited in other epithelioid soft tissue tumors.
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              Sclerosing epithelioid fibrosarcoma. A variant of fibrosarcoma simulating carcinoma.

              We report 25 cases of a peculiar sclerosing epithelioid variant of fibrosarcoma (SEF) simulating an infiltrating carcinoma. The tumors occurred primarily in the deep musculature and were frequently associated with the adjacent fascia or periosteum. The patients' ages were 14 to 87 years (median, 45). Fourteen were male and 11 female. The tumors were located in the lower extremities and limb girdles (12 cases), trunk (9), upper limb girdles (2), and neck (2). They measured 2 to 14.5 cm in greatest dimension (median size, 7 cm) and were gray to white and firm. Histologically, the lesions were characterized by a proliferation of rather uniform, small, slightly angulated, round to ovoid epithelioid cells with sparse, often clear cytoplasm arranged in distinct nests and cords. In all cases there was prominent hyaline sclerosis, sometimes reminiscent of osteoid or cartilage and foci of conventional fibrosarcoma. Occasional myxoid zones with cyst formation and foci of hyaline cartilage, calcification, and metaplastic bone were also seen. Mitotic figures were generally scarce. Vimentin was detected in 13 of 14 cases, epithelial membrane antigen in seven, S100 protein in four, and neuron-specific enolase in two. Cytokeratins were detected with AE1/AE3 and CAM 5.2 in two cases. Leukocyte common antigen, CD68 antigen, HMB45, desmin, and alpha-smooth muscle actin were negative in all cases. In 13 of 14 cases, 75% or more of the cells stained for proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). Ki67 immunostaining with MIB 1 showed low proliferative activity in all cases, averaging 5% of tumor cells or less. In all cases, p53 was detected by immunohistochemical methods; bcl-2, an antiapoptosis marker, was detected in more than 90% of the cells in 11 of 12 cases. Ultrastructurally, both the epithelioid and spindled tumor cells had features of fibroblasts. Follow-up in 16 cases ranging from 13 months to 17 years 3 months (median, 11 years 4 months) revealed persistent disease or local recurrences in 53% of patients and metastases in 43%. The metastases were to the lungs (4 cases), skeleton (3), chest wall/pleura (3), pericardium (1), and brain (1). Four patients died of disease, four were alive with disease, two were known to be alive but disease status unknown, and six had no evidence of further disease at last follow-up. The data suggest that SEF is a relatively low-grade fibrosarcoma; yet it is fully malignant despite the presence of histologically benign-appearing foci. The proliferation markers PCNA and Ki67 did not correlate with prognosis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Gynecol Oncol Rep
                Gynecol Oncol Rep
                Gynecologic Oncology Reports
                Elsevier
                2352-5789
                05 June 2021
                August 2021
                05 June 2021
                : 37
                Affiliations
                [a ]Institute for Pathology, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany
                [b ]Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical Faculty, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne, Germany
                [c ]Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author at: Institute of pathology, University Hospital Cologne, Kerpener Str. 62, 50937 Cologne, Germany. marie-lisa.eich@ 123456uk-koeln.de
                Article
                S2352-5789(21)00105-3 100801
                10.1016/j.gore.2021.100801
                8193370
                © 2021 The Authors

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

                Categories
                Case Reports and Case Series

                sclerosing, epithelioid, fibrosarcoma, uterine, cervix, sef

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