Molecular characterization of inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors with frequent ALK and ROS1 gene fusions and rare novel RET rearrangement Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Gene Fusion
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Granuloma, Plasma Cell
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases


  • Approximately 50% of conventional inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMTs) harbor ALK gene rearrangement and overexpress ALK. Recently, gene fusions involving other kinases have been implicated in the pathogenesis of IMT, including ROS1 and in 1 patient PDGFRB. However, it remains uncertain whether the emerging genotypes correlate with clinicopathologic characteristics of IMT. In this study, we expand the molecular investigation of IMT in a large cohort of different clinical presentations and analyze for potential genotype-phenotype associations. Criteria for inclusion in the study were typical morphology and tissue availability for molecular studies. The lack of ALK immunoreactivity was not an excluding factor. As overlapping gene fusions involving actionable kinases are emerging in both IMT and lung cancer, we set out to evaluate abnormalities in ALK, ROS1, PDGFRB, NTRK1, and RET by fluorescence in situ hybridization. In addition, next-generation paired-end RNA sequencing and FusionSeq algorithm was applied in 4 cases, which identified EML4-ALK fusions in 2 cases. Of the 62 IMTs (25 children and 37 adults), 35 (56%) showed ALK gene rearrangement. Of note, EML4-ALK inversion was noted in 7 (20%) cases, seen mainly in the lung and soft tissue of young children including 2 lesions from newborns. There were 6 (10%) ROS1-rearranged IMTs, all except 1 presenting in children, mainly in the lung and intra-abdominally and showed a distinctive fascicular growth of spindle cells with long cell processes, often positive for ROS1 immunohistochemistry. Two of the cases showed TFG-ROS1 fusions. Interestingly, 1 adult IMT revealed a RET gene rearrangement, a previously unreported finding. Our results show that 42/62 (68%) IMTs are characterized by kinase fusions, offering a rationale for targeted therapeutic strategies. Interestingly, 90% of fusion-negative IMTs were seen in adults, whereas >90% of pediatric IMT showed gene rearrangements. EML4-ALK inversion and ROS1 fusions emerge as common fusion abnormalities in IMT, closely recapitulating the pattern seen in lung cancer.

publication date

  • January 2015



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC4465992

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/PAS.0000000000000404

PubMed ID

  • 25723109

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 957

end page

  • 67


  • 39


  • 7