Bone and soft tissue sarcomas are diagnostically challenging. Recognition of specific cytogenetic abnormalities in these neoplasms has significantly reduced some of the associated difficulties and has provided valuable information on histopathogenesis. Commonly, translocations involving an exchange of chromosomal material and creation of novel chimeric genes are detected. These fusion genes frequently function as aberrant transcription factors that contribute to sarcomagenesis. New studies indicate that less commonly occurring variant fusion genes are also present in some tumors, eg, Ewing's sarcoma and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. The clinical consequences, if any, of these variant hybrids are not yet known. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and are useful approaches in detecting these transcripts. In addition to translocations, supernumerary ring chromosomes are often encountered in sarcomas, particularly those of intermediate or borderline malignancy. Traditional fluorescence in situ hybridization, and recently, comparative genomic hybridization have uncovered the chromosomal composition of these rings as well as some associated gene amplifications in well-differentiated liposarcoma and dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research