Thoracic myoepithelial tumors a pathologic and molecular study of 8 cases with review of the literature
Molecular Diagnostic Techniques
Thoracic myoepithelial tumors (MTs) are a rare group of tumors showing predominant or exclusive myoepithelial differentiation. They are poorly characterized from both a morphologic and genetic standpoint, in particular features that separate benign from malignant behavior. We examined the histologic and immunohistochemical features of 8 primary thoracic MTs and performed fluorescence in situ hybridization for EWSR1, FUS, PLAG1, and HMGA2, as well as several partner genes. Half (4/8) of the MTs occurred in large airways, and 3 had infiltrative borders. All cases showed immunoreactivity for epithelial markers, in conjunction with S100 protein or myogenic markers. MTs showed morphologic characteristics analogous to MTs at other sites, with no tumors having ductal differentiation. Necrosis and/or lymphovascular invasion was present in 5 cases, with mitotic activity ranging from 0 to 6 mitoses/2 mm (mean 1). Metastases occurred in 2 cases, and no patients died of disease. Gene rearrangements were identified in half of the cases, with EWSR1-PBX1, EWSR1-ZNF444, and FUS-KLF17 fusions identified in 1 case each and 1 case having EWSR1 rearrangement with no partner identified. No cases were found to have HMGA2 or PLAG1 abnormalities. Compared with fusion-negative tumors, fusion-positive tumors tended to occur in patients who were younger (50 vs. 58 y), female (1:3 vs. 3:1 male:female ratio), and demonstrated predominantly spindle and clear cell morphology. Using a combined data set of our case series with 16 cases from the literature, poor prognosis was significantly correlated with metastases (P=0.003), necrosis (P=0.027), and ≥5 mitoses/2 mm/10 high-power field (P=0.005). In summary, we identify a subset of thoracic MTs harboring rearrangements in EWSR1 or FUS, and our data suggest that necrosis and increased mitotic activity correlate with aggressive clinical behavior.