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Open Access Research article

The clinical significance of the FUS-CREB3L2 translocation in low-grade fibromyxoid sarcoma

Barry Rose1*, George S Tamvakopoulos1, Kamaljit Dulay2, Robin Pollock1, John Skinner1, Timothy Briggs1 and Steven Cannon1

Author Affiliations

1 The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust, The London Bone and Soft-Tissue Tumour Unit, London, UK

2 The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust, Department of Histopathology, London, UK

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2011, 6:15  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-6-15

Published: 15 March 2011

Abstract

Background

Low-grade fibromyxoid sarcoma (LGFMS) is a rare soft-tissue neoplasm with a deceptively benign histological appearance. Local recurrences and metastases can manifest many years following excision. The FUS-CREB3L2 gene translocation, which occurs commonly in LGFMS, may be detected by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH). We assessed the relationship between clinical outcome and translocation test result by both methods.

Methods

We report genetic analysis of 23 LGFMS cases and clinical outcomes of 18 patients with mean age of 40.6 years. During follow-up (mean 24.8 months), there were no cases of local recurrence or metastasis. One case was referred with a third recurrence of a para-spinal tumour previously incorrectly diagnosed as a neurofibroma.

Results

Results showed 50% of cases tested positive for the FUS-CREB3L2 translocation by RT-PCR and 81.8% by FISH, suggesting FISH is more sensitive than RT-PCR for confirming LGFMS diagnosis. Patients testing positive by both methods tended to be younger and had larger tumours. Despite this, there was no difference in clinical outcome seen during short and medium-term follow-up.

Conclusions

RT-PCR and FISH for the FUS-CREB3L2 fusion transcript are useful tools for confirming LGFMS diagnosis, but have no role in predicting medium-term clinical outcome. Due to the propensity for late recurrence or metastasis, wide excision is essential, and longer-term follow-up is required. This may identify a difference in long-term clinical outcome between translocation-positive and negative patients.