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Mod Pathol. 2008 Nov;21(11):1303-10. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2008.114. Epub 2008 Jun 27.

Fluorescence in situ hybridization is a useful ancillary diagnostic tool for extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma.

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Department of Pathology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma is a rare soft tissue tumor characterized by a nodular growth pattern with eosinophilic cells usually in a reticular pattern and abundant myxoid stroma. In contrast to other myxoid sarcomas, the majority of extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas harbor a balanced translocation, t(9;22)(q22;q12), that fuses EWSR1 with NR4A3 (also known as CHN). Other less common translocations involving NR4A3 have also been described. We examined the diagnostic utility of fluorescence in situ hybridization for extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma using the LSI EWSR1 break-apart probe (Abbott Molecular/Vysis, Des Plaines, IL, USA). Sixteen cases of extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma with formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue available were retrieved (1991-2007). The mean age at time of presentation was 57 years (range, 30-78). The male to female ratio was 7:1. All cases where either consistent with or highly suggestive of the diagnosis, with most of the primary tumors occurring in the thigh, inguinal or gluteal region. Fifteen of 16 cases were analyzable, of which 14 (93%) were positive for the rearrangement of the EWSR1 locus. In this study, the vast majority of extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas are associated with a rearrangement at the EWSR1 locus (22q12). Fluorescence in situ hybridization is useful to support the diagnosis of extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcomas and may help to differentiate it from mimics such as other myxoid sarcomas, particularly in limited biopsies.

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