Genetic analysis of fibrosarcoma of bone, a rare tumour entity closely related to osteosarcoma and malignant fibrous histiocytoma of bone

Claudia Maria Hattinger, Maija Tarkkanen, Stefania Benini, Michela Pasello, Giuseppina Stoico, Patrizia Bacchini, Sakari Knuutila, Katia Scotlandi, Piero Picci, Massimo Serra

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Fibrosarcoma (FS) of bone is an extremely rare and genetically uncharacterised malignant tumour arising in the skeleton. On the basis of clinicopathologic features it appears to be closely related to either fibroblastic osteosarcoma (OS) or malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) of bone. In this study, 27 decalcified, paraffin-embedded FS of bone were collected for genetic and immunohistochemical characterisation. Good quality DNA, suitable for genetic analyses, was isolated from nine cases (7 primary tumours, 1 local recurrence, and 1 lung metastasis), which were analysed by comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH) on chromosomes and DNA microarrays. DNA sequence copy number changes were found in five out of seven primary tumours (72%), as well as in both, the local recurrence and the metastatic lesion, by CGH on chromosomes. The most frequent aberration was gain of the chromosomal region 22q, which was present in four out of the five primary tumours with genetic changes, in the local recurrence and, as the sole genetic aberration, in the lung metastasis. DNA microarray analysis showed that gain of the platelet-derived growth factor beta (PDGF-B) gene (located at 22q12.3-q13.1) was the most frequent gene imbalance, which was present in three out of the five analysed tumours. In these three cases, real-time PCR revealed a 2.1- to 2.7-fold increase of PDGF-B gene copy numbers. By immunohistochemistry, a positive reaction for B-chain-containing PDGF proteins was revealed in all the cases showing gain of 22q. A more extensive immunohistochemical analysis identified the presence of PDGF-B proteins in 8/20 primary FS of bone (40%), 3/3 lung metastases and in 1/2 local recurrences. A simultaneous positive reaction for PDGF-B proteins and PDGF receptors was found in two third of PDGF-B-positive cases (8/12). Taken together, the genetic and immunohistochemical data indicate that over-representation of the chromosomal region 22q, including particularly the PDGF-B gene, may be important for the pathogenesis of FS of bone. Our results also demonstrate that CGH on chromosomes and DNA microarrays are suitable for the genetic characterisation of decalcified, paraffin-embedded tumour tissue samples and may facilitate, combined with other techniques, the rapid acquisition of data providing insight into the molecular genetic and biologic basis of rare bone sarcomas. Moreover, these findings suggest the possible presence of an autocrine loop in FS of bone, which might be taken into account for planning innovative therapeutic strategies for patients unresponsive to conventional treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-491
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Cell Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Chromosome 22
  • Comparative genomic hybridisation
  • Fibrosarcoma of bone
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microarray
  • Platelet-derived growth factor beta
  • Real-time quantitative PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology


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