EWSR1-WT1 gene fusions in neoplasms other than desmoplastic small round cell tumor: a report of three unusual tumors involving the female genital tract and review of the literature

J. Kenneth Schoolmeester, Andrew L. Folpe, Asha A. Nair, Kevin Halling, Bobbie Collett Sutton, Emily Landers, Anthony N. Karnezis, Brendan C. Dickson, Marisa R. Nucci, David L. Kolin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Desmoplastic small round cell tumor (DSRCT) is a high-grade round cell sarcoma that typically arises in the abdominopelvic cavity of young males, co-expresses keratins and desmin, and carries a pathognomonic EWSR1-WT1 gene fusion. The EWSR1-WT1 gene fusion is generally considered specific for DSRCT, although there are two reports of this fusion in tumors otherwise lacking features of DSRCT. We report three female genital tract tumors with EWSR1-WT1 fusions but showing morphologic and immunohistochemical features incompatible with DSRCT. The tumors occurred in the uterine cervix, uterine corpus/ovaries, and vagina, respectively, of 46, 30, and 20-year-old women. Two tumors consisted of a sheet-like to fascicular proliferation of relatively uniform spindled to occasionally more epithelioid cells arrayed about thick-walled, hyalinized, and capillary-sized vessels, with distinctive areas of pseudovascular change, and absence of desmoplastic stroma. The third tumor resembled a monomorphic spindle cell sarcoma with necrosis. All had diffuse desmin and variable but more limited keratin expression, two of three expressed smooth muscle actin, and all were negative for h-caldesmon, CD10, estrogen receptor, myogenin, N-terminus WT-1, and S100 protein. One patient received neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiation therapy followed by resection and is disease-free 42 months after diagnosis. Another patient was managed by resection only and is disease-free 9 months after initial diagnosis. The remaining patient recently underwent resection of multifocal pelvic disease. Comprehensive differential gene expression analysis on two tumors compared to two classic DSRCTs with known EWSR1-WT1 fusions resulted in 1726 genes that were differentially expressed (log2 fold change >2 or < −2) and statistically significant (FDR < 5%). In combination with previous reports, our findings suggest pleiotropy of the EWSR1-WT1 fusion is possible and not limited to DSRCT. Subsets of non-DSRCT EWSR1-WT1 positive tumors may represent discrete entities, but further study is necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1912-1920
Number of pages9
JournalModern Pathology
Volume34
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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