John Libbey Eurotext

Bulletin du Cancer


From cytogenetics to cytogenomics of adipose tissue tumors 2. Malignant adipose tissue tumors Volume 91, issue 4, Avril 2004


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* Laboratoire de génétique, Hôpital de l’Archet, CHU de Nice, 151, route de Saint‐Antoine‐de‐Ginestière, BP 3079, 06202 Nice cedex 3

Malignant adipose tissue tumors, also called liposarcomas, are the most common sarcoma of adult life. They may be hard to distinguish from benign adipose tissue tumors as well as from other types of sarcomas. Well‐differentiated liposarcomas and myxoid liposarcomas are the two histological subtypes that have been best characterized at the genetic level. The defining genetic features of well‐differentiated liposarcoma cells are supernumerary circular ("ring") and giant linear rod chromosomes. These rings and giant chromosomes contain amplification of the 12q14‐15 region, including the MDM2 gene, associated with co‐amplification of various other chromosomal regions. In addition, they most often lack alpha‐satellite centromeric sequences. The detection of MDM2 amplification is a valuable tool for the differential diagnosis between well‐differentiated liposarcomas and lipomas. Dedifferentiated liposarcomas usually present with patterns of MDM2 amplification similar to those observed in well‐differentiated liposarcomas. In addition, recent CGH‐array studies suggest that co‐amplification of MDM2 with the 6q23‐25 region might be a specific feature. Myxoid and round‐cell liposarcomas are characterized by a translocation t(12;16)(q13;p11) that fuses the DDIT3 and FUS genes. A rare variant translocation t(12;22) that fuses DDIT3 with EWS has also been described. The genetics of pleomorphic liposarcoma is still obscure. Pleomorphic liposarcomas show complex karyotypes with many numerical and structural chromosomal aberrations. To date, no specific molecular abnormality has been identified. ▴