Molecular genetic heterogeneity in undifferentiated endometrial carcinomas

Juan M. Rosa-Rosa, Susanna Leskelä, Eva Cristóbal-Lana, Almudena Santón, Ma Ángeles López-García, Gloria Muñoz, Belen Pérez-Mies, Michele Biscuola, Jaime Prat, Oliva E. Esther, Robert A. Soslow, Xavier Matias-Guiu, Jose Palacios

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    © 2016 USCAP, Inc All rights reserved. Undifferentiated and dedifferentiated endometrial carcinomas are rare and highly aggressive subtypes of uterine cancer, not well characterized at a molecular level. To investigate whether dedifferentiated carcinomas carry molecular genetic alterations similar to those of pure undifferentiated carcinomas, and to gain insight into the pathogenesis of these tumors, we selected a cohort of 18 undifferentiated endometrial carcinomas, 8 of them with a well-differentiated endometrioid carcinoma component (dedifferentiated endometrioid carcinomas), and studied them by immunohistochemistry and massive parallel and Sanger sequencing. Whole-exome sequencing of the endometrioid and undifferentiated components, as well as normal myometrium, was also carried out in one case. According to The Cancer Genome Atlas classification, we distributed 95% of the undifferentiated carcinomas in this series as follows: (a) hypermutated tumors with loss of any mismatch repair protein expression and microsatellite instability (eight cases, 45%); (b) ultramutated carcinomas carrying mutations in the exonuclease domain of POLE (two cases, 11%); (c) high copy number alterations (copy-number high) tumors group exhibiting only TP53 mutations and high number of alterations detected by FISH (two cases, 11%); and (d) low copy number alterations (copy-number low) tumors with molecular alterations typical of endometrioid endometrial carcinomas (five cases, 28%). Two of the latter cases, however, also had TP53 mutations and higher number of alterations detected by FISH and could have progressed to a copy-number high phenotype. Most dedifferentiated carcinomas belonged to the hypermutated group, whereas pure undifferentiated carcinomas shared molecular genetic alterations with copy-number low or copy-number high tumors. These results indicate that undifferentiated and dedifferentiated endometrial carcinomas are molecularly heterogeneous tumors, which may have prognostic value.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1390-1398
    JournalModern Pathology
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


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