Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma with non-EWSR1-NR4A3 variant fusions correlate with rhabdoid phenotype and high-grade morphology
Neoplasms, Connective and Soft Tissue
Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
Receptors, Thyroid Hormone
Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas (EMC) are rare soft tissue sarcomas with distinctive histology and uncertain histogenesis, characterized by Ewing sarcoma breakpoint region 1-nuclear receptor subfamily 4, group A, member 3 (EWSR1-NR4A3) fusion in 75% of the cases. A smaller proportion of cases show NR4A3 fused to other gene partners including TATA binding protein-associated factor 15 (TAF15), transcription factor 12 (TCF12), and TRK-fused gene (TFG). The impact of various gene fusions on morphology and outcome has not been previously evaluated. We investigated 26 consecutive EMCs and correlated the genetic findings with morphology and clinical outcome. There were 5 females and 21 males (median age, 49.5 years). Mean size of the tumors was 11 cm. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed EWSR1-NR4A3 gene fusion in 16 cases (62%), TAF15-NR4A3 gene fusion in 7 cases (27%), and TCF12-NR4A3 gene fusion in 1 case (4%). Two cases showed only NR4A3 gene rearrangements. Morphologically, most EWSR1-rearranged tumors (10/16) showed low cellularity, minimal cytologic atypia, and low mitotic counts. In contrast, 80% of EMCs with variant (non-EWSR1) NR4A3 gene fusions (TAF15, TCF12) had high-grade morphology with increased cellularity, proliferation, and cytologic atypia, showing a plasmacytoid/rhabdoid morphology in half the cases. Follow-up showed that only 1 of 16 patients with EWSR1-rearranged tumors died of disease, in contrast to 3 (43%) of 7 TAF15-rearranged tumors. In conclusion, EMCs with variant NR4A3 gene fusions show a higher incidence of rhabdoid phenotype, high-grade morphology, and a more aggressive outcome compared with the EWSR1-NR4A3 positive tumors. Furthermore, fluorescence in situ hybridization assay for NR4A3, along with EWSR1, may be an additional ancillary test to confirm diagnosis of EMCs.