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Am J Clin Pathol. 2011 Nov;136(5):762-6. doi: 10.1309/AJCPXNUC7JZSKWEU.

p63 immunohistochemical staining is limited in soft tissue tumors.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis St., Boston, MA 02115, USA.


p63 is a p53 homolog that is expressed in various normal epithelial tissues and epithelial malignancies. Its expression in mesenchymal lesions has not been examined in depth; therefore, we studied p63 expression by immunohistochemical analysis in 650 soft tissue tumors. We found that p63 expression is limited in soft tissue tumors. The majority of tumors studied were p63-, including all cases of angiosarcoma, lipomatous neoplasms, dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, solitary fibrous tumor, schwannoma, neurofibroma, gastrointestinal stromal tumor, and leiomyosarcoma. Nuclear p63 reactivity was found in a subset of soft tissue myoepithelioma and myoepithelial carcinoma of soft tissue, cellular neurothekeoma, soft tissue perineurioma, Ewing sarcoma/peripheral neuroectodermal tumor, diffuse-type giant cell tumor, and giant cell tumor of soft parts. Infrequent, weak, or focal p63-staining patterns were observed in low-grade fibromyxoid sarcoma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor, extraskeletal myxoid chondrosarcoma, myxofibrosarcoma, proximal-type epithelioid sarcoma, synovial sarcoma, embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, desmoplastic small round cell tumor, atypical fibroxanthoma, and spindle cell melanoma. Absent p63 expression is typical for most soft tissue tumors, including most (but not all) that would be in the differential diagnosis of spindle cell squamous carcinoma.

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