Solitary fibrous tumors (SFTs) are rare mesenchymal neoplasms, displaying variable morphological and clinicopathological features. Supportive immunohistochemical markers such as CD34, CD99, BCL2 and LSD1 are commonly applied in the differential diagnosis of SFTs, although none is sufficiently sensitive or specific enough. The aim of the present study was to examine the most differential markers for the reliable distinction of SFTs from histological mimics. We investigated the expression of STAT6, NAB2, ALDH1, GRIA2 and IGF2 in 454 comprehensive soft tissue tumors, comprising formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples from 80 SFTs and 374 other mesenchymal tumors. The Duolink in situ proximity ligation assay (PLA) was adopted for the detection of NAB2-STAT6 fusion proteins. STAT6 was expressed in all 80 SFT cases with a moderate-strong nuclear staining intensity. In contrast, only 4/374 (1%) non-SFT mesenchymal tumors showed a nuclear STAT6 staining pattern. Strong expression of NAB2 and IGF2 was detected in SFT and non-SFT cases. Positive GRIA2 immunoreactivity was found in 64% (SFT) and 8% (non-SFT), respectively. Expression of ALDH1 was moderate-strong in 76% (SFT), whereas only 2 non-SFT lesions showed positive ALDH1 immunoreactivity. Moreover, the presence of NAB2STAT6 fusion proteins was indicated in 71/78 (91%) SFT cases by PLA. Nuclear STAT6 and cytoplasmic ALDH1 expression are the most sensitive and specific markers in the differential diagnosis of SFTs. Furthermore, application of Duolink in situ proximity ligation assay can be helpful to detect the NAB2-STAT6 fusion protein in the majority of SFTs.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published