Some rhabdomyosarcomas and sarcomatoid carcinomas with heterologous rhabdomyosarcomatous elements resemble high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma, creating a diagnostic difficulty. The purpose of this study was to characterize the overlap of adult genitourinary rhabdomyosarcomas, excluding those occurring at paratesticular sites, with high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma and identify features helpful in their separation. Seventeen cases of rhabdomyosarcoma (11 from the urinary bladder and 3 each from kidney and prostate)were compared to 10 cases of high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma from the urinary bladder. These tumors were analyzed by immunohistochemistry for desmin, MyoD1, myogenin, chromogranin, synaptophysin, CD56, TTF1, and ASCL1, and RNA sequencing was performed on 4 cases of bladder rhabdomyosarcoma (2 rhabdomyosarcomas and 2 sarcomatoid-rhabdomyosarcoma)and 10 cases of bladder high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma. This was compared to public data from 414 typical urothelial carcinomas from The Cancer Genome Atlas dataset. Morphologic and immunophenotypic overlap with high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma was seen in half of the bladder tumors, which included 4 rhabdomyosarcomas and 2 sarcomatoid rhabdomyosarcomas. RNA sequencing confirmed expression of neuroendocrine markers in these cases (2 rhabdomyosarcomas and 2 sarcomatoid rhabdomyosarcomas). Differential neuroendocrine differentiation was highlighted by ASCL1 protein expression only in high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma. Moreover, both a pure alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma and sarcomatoid rhabdomyosarcoma of the urinary bladder demonstrated a fusion involving PPP1R12A. In summary, adult rhabdomyosarcomas of the urinary bladder are molecularly distinct from high-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas based on specific patterns of expression of myogenic and epithelial to mesenchymal transition–related transcription factors as well as the presence of a novel PPP1R12A fusion which is seen in a subset of cases.
- High-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma
- Sarcomatoid carcinoma
- Urinary bladder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine