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Mod Pathol. 2001 Jul;14(7):655-63.

Proximal-type epithelioid sarcoma: a clinicopathologic study of 20 cases.

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Pathology Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute and Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


We studied the clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical features of 20 cases of proximal-type epithelioid sarcoma to identify prognostic factors. The 20 patients ranged in age from 13 to 80 years (mean, 40 y); 12 patients were male and 8 were female. The tumors presented as deep soft-tissue or subcutaneous masses on the inguinal region in five, the thigh in four, the vulva in three, the axilla in three, and one each in the flank, chest wall, back, hip and perineum. The tumors ranged from 2 to 16 cm at their greatest diameter (mean: 7.8 cm). Histologically, 12 tumors (60%) were classified as the large-cell subtype, characterized by sheets of large cells with prominent nucleoli resembling poorly differentiated carcinoma, and a frequent rhabdoid phenotype, six (30%) were classified as the conventional subtype, and two (10%) as the angiomatoid subtype. The numbers of tumors exhibiting immunoreactivity for various markers were: vimentin (20 cytokeratin (20 [100%]); epithelial membrane antigen (17 [85%]); CD34 (9 [45%]); CD99 (5 [25%]); muscle markers, either desmin or alpha-smooth muscle actin (3 [15%]), other markers such as S-100 protein, neurofilament, neuron-specific enolase, synaptophysin and CD56 (12 [60%]); and p53 (16 [80%]). Fourteen lesions (70%) exhibited an MIB-1 index of 30% or more and, by a system of histologic grading using the MIB-1 score, 16 tumors (80%) were classified as high-grade (Grade 3). Thirteen patients (65%) developed local recurrence and 15 (75%) had metastases, primarily to the lymph nodes. At the last follow-up, 13 patients (65%) had died of their disease. A large tumor size and early metastasis were independently associated with a poor outcome. We conclude that proximal-type epithelioid sarcomas are rare, undifferentiated soft-tissue sarcomas of adults, with epithelioid features and a frequent rhabdoid phenotype. These tumors, when arising in proximal locations, have a much worse prognosis than those arising in distal locations.

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