Molecular diagnostics of soft tissue tumors

Julia A. Bridge, Allison M. Cushman-Vokoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Context- Soft tissue pathology encompasses a remarkably diverse assortment of benign and malignant soft tissue tumors. Rendering a definitive diagnosis is complicated not only by the large volume of existing histologic subtypes (>100) but also frequently by the presence of overlapping clinical, histologic, immunohistochemical, and/or radiographic features. During the past 3 decades, mesenchymal tumor-specific, cytogenetic and molecular genetic abnormalities have demonstrated an increasingly important, ancillary role in mesenchymal tumor diagnostics. Objectives.-To review molecular diagnostic tools available to the pathologist to further classify specific soft tissue tumor types and recurrent aberrations frequently examined. Advantages and limitations of individual approaches will also be highlighted. Data Sources.-Previously published review articles, peerreviewed research publications, and the extensive cytogenetic and molecular diagnostic experience of the authors to include case files of The University of Nebraska Medical Center. Conclusions.- Cytogenetic and molecular genetic assays are used routinely for diagnostic purposes in soft tissue pathology and represent a powerful adjunct to complement conventional microscopy and clinicoradiographic evaluation in the formulation of an accurate diagnosis. Care should be taken, however, to recognize the limitations of these approaches. Ideally, more than one technical approach should be available to a diagnostic laboratory to compensate for the shortcomings of each approach in the assessment of individual specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-601
Number of pages14
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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