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Brain Pathol. 2005 Jan;15(1):23-8.

Chromosome 22q deletions in atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors in adults.

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Department of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd., Dallas, TX 75390-9073, USA.


Atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (AT/RTs) are rare, malignant brain tumors that usually occur in the posterior fossa. Both AT/RT and the analogous tumor outside the brain, malignant rhabdoid tumor, share a polyphenotypic immunoprofile and frequent 22q deletions with inactivation of the IN11/hSNF5 gene. Reports, so far, indicate that AT/RTs occur almost exclusively in children, most of whom are 5-years-old or less. The rarity of the tumor and the polyphenotypic immunoprofile, characterized by antigen expression that is often patchy, make diagnosis in adults difficult and controversial. We describe three AT/RTs in adults in which the diagnoses were supported by detection of 22q11.2 deletions, INI1 mutation and/or loss of INI1 protein expression. Two patients were female, ages 20 and 31 and one was male, age 45. Two tumors occurred in the sella or sellar region and one in the cerebellum. In all cases, fluorescence in situ hybridization with probes to the BCR (22q11.2) and NF2 (22q12) regions of chromosome 22 revealed single copy deletions of BCR with normal dosages of NF2 and, in all cases, immunohistochemistry demonstrated loss of INI1 protein expression. In one case, a single base pair deletion was detected in the INI1/hSNF5 gene. These molecular findings confirm the occurrence of AT/RTs in adults. Although rare, AT/RT should be considered in the differential diagnosis of poorly differentiated intracranial tumors in adults.

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