Murphy, Amanda J.; Bishop, Karen L.; Pereira, Carlos; Chilton-Macneill, Susan; Ho, Michael; Zielenska, Maria; Thorner, Paul S.
A new molecular variant of desmoplastic small round cell tumor: significance of WT1 immunostaining in this entity.
Date of Publication
Desmoplastic small round cell tumor is a rare aggressive neoplasm, often presenting in young adult males. Although the classic features are well described, considerable clinical, pathologic, and immunohistochemical variation has been reported. The defining feature is a reciprocal translocation, t(11;22)(p13;q12), which fuses EWS on chromosome 22 to WT1 on chromosome 11. WT1 immunohistochemistry is reportedly useful in distinguishing desmoplastic small round cell tumor from other tumors. Herein, we describe a desmoplastic small round cell tumor of soft tissue with an unusual pattern of WT1 expression associated with a novel variant EWS-WT1 fusion transcript. We compare WT1 expression pattern with 5 intra-abdominal desmoplastic small round cell tumors and review the literature on WT1 expression and variant transcripts in desmoplastic small round cell tumor. Immunohistochemistry for the N- and C-terminals of WT1 was performed in 6 desmoplastic small round cell tumors. The EWS-WT1 fusion transcript was confirmed in all cases by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Sequencing of fusion transcripts and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for wild-type WT1 was performed in 4 cases. The soft tissue desmoplastic small round cell tumor was negative for the WT1 C-terminal and showed nuclear staining with the N-terminal antibody. This case demonstrated 2 novel fusion transcripts, both lacking WT1 exons 9 and 10 and one containing additional exons of WT1 (exons 3-7). This tumor also strongly expressed full-length WT1. Five intra-abdominal desmoplastic small round cell tumors showed nuclear staining for WT1 C-terminal, but not for the N-terminal antibody. Although WT1 immunohistochemistry reflects the EWS-WT1 fusion transcript in most desmoplastic small round cell tumors, some cases express full-length WT1 or have variant transcripts, resulting in atypical staining patterns. Hence, interpretation of WT1 immunostaining requires knowledge of antibody target epitopes and correlation with clinical, morphological, and molecular genetic findings for establishing a diagnosis of desmoplastic small round cell tumor.....