Molecular characterization of a bladder pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma in an adult patient

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Pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma (PRMS) is a rare but highly aggressive soft tissue tumor, accounting for 3% of soft tissue sarcomas. PRMS is the most frequent subtype of RMS in adulthood and it is mainly located in the large muscles of the extremities, particularly the lower limbs and the trunk, more rarely in other locations especially in the bladder. At our knowledge, only six cases of adult pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma of the bladder have been reported in the literature. In this study, we report a case of PRMS of bladder with a very poor prognosis. In fact, the patient died a month after surgery. The tumor was characterized by poorly differentiated, medium-sized sometimes rhabdoid cells, mixed with large-sized and pleomorphic elements with evident anisonucleosis, and with large areas of necrosis. We used an extensive immunohistochemical panel to exclude other tumors much more frequently reported at this site. The positivity for myogenic markers such as actin, desmin, myogenin and MyoD1 allowed the correct diagnosis. Furthermore, since preliminary studies highlighted a series of specific molecular alterations in PMRS cell lines, we analyzed a panel of specific mutations and gene rearrangements by RT-PCR and FISH methods. We showed a copy gains of CCND1 and MALT genes in our samples, suggesting an accurate molecular characterization of PRMS to establish a better management of patients and new therapeutic opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153033
JournalPathology Research and Practice
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Bladder
  • Molecular analysis
  • Pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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