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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016 Apr;55(4):340-9. doi: 10.1002/gcc.22336. Epub 2015 Dec 22.

Ewing sarcoma with ERG gene rearrangements: A molecular study focusing on the prevalence of FUS-ERG and common pitfalls in detecting EWSR1-ERG fusions by FISH.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.
2
Department of Pathology, Erciyes University, Kayseri, Turkey.
3
Department of Pathology, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.

Abstract

The genetics of Ewing sarcoma (ES) are characterized by a canonical fusion involving EWSR1 gene and a member of the ETS family of transcription factors, such as FLI1 and ERG. In fact, ERG gene rearrangements represent the second most common molecular alteration, with EWSR1-ERG being identified in 5-10% of cases, while only a handful of reports document a FUS-ERG fusion. In this study, we focus on ES with ERG gene abnormalities, specifically to investigate the prevalence and clinicopathologic features of FUS-ERG fusions in a large cohort of small blue round cell tumors (SBRCTs) and compare to the eight reported FUS-positive ES. Among the 85 SBRCTs tested, seven (8.2%) cases harbored FUS gene rearrangements; six fused to ERG and one with FEV. During this investigation we came across a number of ERG-rearranged ES lacking both EWSR1 and FUS abnormalities by FISH. In one case, RNA sequencing identified an EWSR1-ERG transcript despite the negative EWSR1 rearrangements by FISH. Additional 3-color FISH fusion assay demonstrated the fusion of EWSR1 and ERG signals in all four cases negative for break-apart EWSR1 FISH. These results emphasize a potential pitfall of relying on EWSR1 FISH assay alone for diagnosis of ES. In cases with classic morphology and/or strong CD99 and ERG immunoreactivity, additional molecular testing should be applied, such as ERG FISH or RT-PCR/next generation sequencing, for a more definitive diagnosis. Although our study group is small, there were no differences noted between the clinical, morphologic features and immunoprofile of the different subsets of ERG-rearranged SBRCTs.

PMID:
26690869
PMCID:
PMC5006947
DOI:
10.1002/gcc.22336
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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