Author(s): Williamson D, Missiaglia E, de Reynis A, Pierron G, Thuille B,
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Abstract PURPOSE: To determine whether the clinical and molecular biologic characteristics of the alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) and embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS) subtypes have relevance independent of the presence or absence of the PAX/FOXO1 fusion gene. PATIENTS AND METHODS: The fusion gene status of 210 histopathologically reviewed, clinically annotated rhabdomyosarcoma samples was determined by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to assess event-free survival and overall survival in fusion gene-negative ARMS (ARMSn; n = 39), fusion gene-positive ARMS (ARMSp; n = 94), and ERMS (n = 77). A total of 101 RMS samples were also profiled for whole-genome expression, and 128 were profiled for genomic copy number imbalances. Profiling data were analyzed by supervised and unsupervised methods to compare features related to histopathology and fusion gene status. Results were also projected by meta-analysis techniques across three separate publically available data sets. RESULTS: Overall and event-free survival, frequency of metastases, and distribution of site at initial presentation were not significantly different between ARMSn and ERMS. Consistent with this, analysis of gene expression signatures could not reproducibly distinguish ARMSn from ERMS whereas fusion gene-positive cases were distinct. ARMSn and ERMS frequently show whole-chromosome copy number changes, notably gain of chromosome 8 with associated high levels of expression of genes from this chromosome. CONCLUSION: The clinical behavior and molecular characteristics of alveolar cases without a fusion gene are indistinguishable from embryonal cases and significantly different from fusion-positive alveolar cases. This implies that fusion gene status irrespective of histology is a critical factor in risk stratification of RMS.
This article was published in J Clin Oncol
and referenced in Diagnostic Pathology: Open Access