bims-myxlip Biomed News
on Myxoid liposarcoma
Issue of 2021‒09‒12
two papers selected by
Laura Mannarino
Humanitas Research

  1. Mod Pathol. 2021 Sep 09.
      Synovial sarcoma is characterized by variable epithelial differentiation and specific SS18-SSX gene fusions. The diagnosis is primarily based on phenotype, but fusion gene detection is increasingly being considered indispensable, with SS18 break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) being favored in many laboratories. However, SS18 FISH assay produces negative or atypical results in a minority of cases, leaving uncertainties in diagnosis and management. Here, we analyzed this challenging subset of SS18 FISH-negative/atypical synovial sarcoma using RNA sequencing and monoclonal antibodies that recognize SS18-SSX and the SSX C-terminus. Among 99 synovial sarcoma cases that were previously subjected to SS18 break-apart FISH, eight cases were reported as negative and three cases were indeterminate, owing to atypical signal patterns. Three of these 11 tumors (two monophasic and one biphasic) harbored novel EWSR1-SSX1 fusions, were negative for SS18-SSX staining, and were positive for SSX C-terminus staining. One monophasic tumor harbored a novel MN1-SSX1 fusion, and showed negative SS18-SSX expression and positive SSX C-terminus staining. Another monophasic tumor carried an SS18L1-SSX1 fusion, and was weakly positive for SS18-SSX, while SMARCB1 expression was reduced. The presence of these novel and/or rare fusions was confirmed using RT-PCR and Sanger sequencing. EWSR1-SSX1 was further validated by EWSR1 FISH assay. The remaining six tumors (five monophasic and one biphasic) showed strong SS18-SSX expression, and RNA sequencing successfully performed in three cases identified canonical SS18-SSX2 fusions. Based on a DNA methylation-based unsupervised clustering, the tumors with EWSR1-SSX1 and SS18L1-SSX1 clustered with synovial sarcoma, while the MN1-SSX1-positive tumor was not co-clustered despite classic histology and immunoprofile. In summary, we discovered novel and rare SSX1 fusions to non-SS18 genes in synovial sarcoma. The expanded genetic landscape carries significant diagnostic implications and advances our understanding of the oncogenic mechanism.