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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2002 Nov;128(11):610-6. Epub 2002 Oct 29.

Oncoproteins and proliferation markers in synovial sarcomas: a clinicopathologic study of 19 cases.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, 185 South Orange Ave., Newark, N.J., USA.



The objective of this study was to evaluate synovial sarcomas for the expression of oncogenic proteins (Her2/neu, EGFR, Bcl-2, p53) and proliferation markers (Ki-67, Topoisomerase 2alpha), as possible markers of prognostic significance.


From 17 patients with synovial sarcomas 19 tumors (15 primary, 2 recurrent, and 2 metastatic) were selected on the basis of characteristic histology, the expression of at least one epithelial marker, and/or the presence of t(X;18). Adequate follow-up was available in all cases.


The tumors were tested immunohistochemically and were found to express multiple oncogenic proteins. Four of 19 synovial sarcomas (21%) demonstrated nuclear over-expression of p53 protein; 18 of 19 tumors (94%) stained positive for Bcl-2; and 13 of 19 tumors (68%) were immunoreactive with EGFR. Of particular interest was the frequent expression of Her2/neu, an oncogenic protein more commonly observed in epithelial neoplasms. Ten of 19 tumors (52%, 7 monophasic and 3 biphasic) showed positive cytoplasmic and membranous staining with Her2/neu (HercepTest, DAKO). The staining intensity ranged from 1+ to 2+. Cellular expression of Her2/neu was independent of EGFR positivity and showed no association with proliferative activity of the tumors. FISH analysis of eight positive cases showed no evidence of Her2/neu gene amplification. Among the non-metastatic tumors, we found a significant correlation between Ki-67 and Topoisomerase 2alpha. Spearman's correlation co-efficient was 0.86 with P=0.001 ( n=17).


In this relatively small series of cases, we found no definite correlation between the over-expression of Her2/neu and clinical outcome. The over-expression of p53 was significantly associated with clinical outcome (Fisher's exact test, P=0.02).

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