PDGFRA immunostaining can help in the diagnosis of gastrointestinal stromal tumors

Francesca Miselli, Clara Millefanti, Elena Conca, Tiziana Negri, Cristina Piacenza, Marco A. Pierotti, Elena Tamborini, Silvana Pilotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are characterized by the presence of activating mutations affecting the c-Kit or the PDGFRA gene. Although these mutations are mutually exclusive, their proteins are coexpressed in many GISTs with various modulations of immunostaining depending on which gene is mutated. CD117 expression is currently considered a sensitive (although not entirely specific) marker of KIT activation, but there is no consensus concerning the reliability of PDGFRA antibody. Our database contains 236 molecularly analyzed GISTs, and we here describe the 180 cases that underwent KIT/PDGFRA immunophenotyping. By correlating the immunophenotype with the molecular status of the genes expected to be involved, we observed the coexpression of KIT and PDGFRA in the majority of the mutated c-Kit and wild-type c-Kit/PDGFRA GISTs, whereas the -/+ immunophenotype (0% vs. 48.6%) and PDGFRA dotlike immunostaining (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-743
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Dotlike decoration
  • GIST
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Molecular analyses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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