Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) is a rare and indolent cutaneous sarcoma. At times, a fibrosarcomatous transformation marked by a more aggressive clinical behavior may be present. We investigated the natural history and the molecular bases of progression from classic DFSP to the fibrosarcomatous form (FS-DFSP), looking, retrospectively, at the outcome of all patients affected by primary DFSP treated at our institution from 1993 to 2012 and analyzing the molecular profile of 5 DFSPs and 5 FS-DFSPs by an integrated genomics approach (whole transcriptome sequencing, copy number analysis, FISH, qRT-PCR, IHC). The presence of fibrosarcomatous features was identified in 20 (7.6%) patients out of 263 DFSP. All cases were treated with macroscopic complete surgery. A local relapse occurred in 4 of 23 patients who received a microscopic marginal surgery (2 classic DFSP, 2 FS-DFSP), while metastasis affected 2 patients, both FS-DFSP (10% of FS-DFSP), being the first event. DFSP evolution to FS-DFSP was paralleled by a transcriptional reprogramming. The recurrent loss of chromosome 22q appeared to contribute to this phenomenon by promoting the expression of epigenetic regulators, such as EZH2. Loss of the p16/CDKN2A/INK4A locus at 9p was also observed in two FS-DFSP metastatic cases.
Implications: FS-DFSP is a rare subgroup among DFSP, with a 10% metastatic risk, that was independent from local recurrence and that was not observed in DFSP, that were all cured by wide surgery. Chromosome 22q deletion might play a role in FS-DFSP, and p16 loss may convey a poor outcome. EZH2 dysregulation was also found and represents a druggable target. Mol Cancer Res; 14(9); 820–9. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Molecular Cancer Research Online (http://mcr.aacrjournals.org/).
Prior presentation: Preliminary account of this study has been presented at ASCO Annual Meeting, 2015, Chicago, IL (abstract 10554).
- Received February 26, 2016.
- Revision received May 11, 2016.
- Accepted May 16, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.