Soft tissue tumors characterized by a wide spectrum of kinase fusions share a lipofibromatosis-like neural tumor pattern

Yu Chien Kao, Albert J.H. Suurmeijer, Pedram Argani, Brendan C. Dickson, Lei Zhang, Yun Shao Sung, Narasimhan P. Agaram, Christopher D.M. Fletcher, Cristina R. Antonescu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


Gene fusions resulting in oncogenic activation of various receptor tyrosine kinases, including NTRK1-3, ALK, and RET, have been increasingly recognized in soft tissue tumors (STTs), displaying a wide morphologic spectrum and therefore diagnostically challenging. A subset of STT with NTRK1 rearrangements were recently defined as lipofibromatosis-like neural tumors (LPFNTs), being characterized by mildly atypical spindle cells with a highly infiltrative growth in the subcutis and expression of S100 and CD34 immunostains. Other emerging morphologic phenotypes associated with kinase fusions include infantile/adult fibrosarcoma and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor-like patterns. In this study, a large cohort of 73 STT positive for various kinase fusions, including 44 previously published cases, was investigated for the presence of an LPFNT phenotype, to better define the incidence of this distinctive morphologic pattern and its relationship with various gene fusions. Surprisingly, half (36/73) of STT with kinase fusions showed at least a focal LPFNT component defined as >10%. Most of the tumors occurred in the subcutaneous tissues of the extremities (n = 25) and trunk (n = 9) of children or young adults (<30 years old) of both genders. Two-thirds (24/36) of these cases showed hybrid morphologies with alternating LPFNT and solid areas of monomorphic spindle to ovoid tumor cells with fascicular or haphazard arrangement, while one-third (12/36) had pure LPFNT morphology. Other common histologic findings included lymphocytic infiltrates, staghorn-like vessels, and perivascular or stromal hyalinization, especially in hybrid cases. Mitotic activity was generally low (<4/10 high power fields in 81% cases), being increased only in a minority of cases. Immunoreactivity for CD34 (92% in hybrid cases, 89% in pure cases) and S100 (89% in hybrid cases, 64% in pure cases) were commonly present. The gene rearrangements most commonly involved NTRK1 (75%), followed by RET (8%) and less commonly NTRK2, NTRK3, ROS1, ALK, and MET.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-583
Number of pages9
JournalGenes Chromosomes and Cancer
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2020


  • lipofibromatosis-like neural tumor
  • MET
  • NTRK
  • RET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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