Relevance of cytogenetic and fluorescent in situ hybridization analyses in the clinical assessment of soft tissue sarcoma

Gabriella Sozzi, Fabiola Minoletti, Monica Miozzo, Laura Sard, Katia Musso, Alberto Azzarelli, Marco A. Pierotti, Silvana Pilotti

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Soft tissue sarcomas are a heterogeneous group of malignant tumors displaying a wide range of clinical presentations, morphological features, and biological behaviors. These characteristics and the recent development of differentiated treatment regimens for the different types of soft tissue sarcomas call for refined histological classification using additional ancillary approaches such as cytogenetic and molecular genetic analyses. We coupled classical cytogenetics and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) on both metaphases and interphase nuclei to show the feasibility of this approach to characterize tumor type-specific chromosome rearrangements in soft tissue sarcomas of different histotype. In 35 cases analyzed, we detected the presence of specific chromosome rearrangements such as t(X; 18) in synovial sarcoma (SS), t(12;16) in myxoid liposarcoma (MLS), t(11;22) in peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumors (pPNET), t(2;13) in alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) and ring chromosomes in dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP). In several cases, the presence of these cytogenetic rearrangements was of help for a differential diagnosis. The FISH analysis using painting probes not only confirmed the cytogenetic results but also allowed the identification of tumor-specific chromosome changes in those cases presenting low mitotic index or with poor quality chromosomes. Moreover, in the absence of analysable metaphases, FISH was successfully performed on interphase nuclei. Taken together, these results indicate both the diagnostic and clinical relevance of a molecular cytogenetic analysis in the study of soft tissue sarcomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-142
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • cytogenetics
  • diagnosis
  • FISH
  • interphase nuclei
  • metaphase
  • sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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