New Research Findings on Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma of the Head and Neck with HEY1::NCOA2 Fusion
Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma of the Head and Neck with HEY1::NCOA2 Fusion: a Clinicopathologic and Molecular Study of 13 Cases with Emphasis on Diagnostic Pitfalls
Background: Mesenchymal chondrosarcoma (MCS) is a rare translocation-associated sarcoma, driven by a canonical HEY1::NCOA2 fusion. The tumors typically have a biphasic phenotype of primitive small blue round cells intermixed with hyaline cartilage. The head and neck (HN) region is a common site for MCS, accounting for 12-45% of all MCSs reported.
Aims: We assembled a relatively large cohort of 13 molecularly confirmed HN MCS for a detailed clinicopathologic analysis. The underlying fusion events were determined using fluorescence in situ hybridization and/or targeted RNA sequencing.
Results: The median age of presentation was 19 years. Five MCSs (39%) had an intraosseous presentation (skull, maxilla, palate, and mandible), while the remaining 8 cases occurred in the brain/meninges, orbit, and nasal cavity. Microscopically, HN MCSs were characterized by primitive round cells arranged in a distinctive nested architecture and a rich staghorn vasculature. A cartilaginous component of hyaline cartilage islands and/or single chondrocytes were present in 69% cases. A combined immunoprofile of CD99(+)/SATB2(+)/CD34(-)/STAT6(-) was typically noted. As this immunoprofile is non-specific, the referral diagnoses in cases lacking a cartilaginous component included Ewing sarcoma family and osteosarcoma. Among the 7 patients with follow-up data, three developed distant metastasis and one died of disease.
Conclusion: HN MCS may arise at intra- or extra-osseous sites. The HN MCS appears to have a more prolonged survival compared other MCS sites. Testing for HEY1::NCOA2 fusion is recommended in HN tumors with nested round cell morphology and staghorn vasculature that lack a distinctive cartilaginous component. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Chondrosarcoma; HEY1::NCOA2 fusion; head and neck; mesenchymal chondrosarcoma.