ALK-rearranged Tumors are Highly Enriched in the STUMP Subcategory of Uterine Tumors. The American journal of surgical pathology Devereaux, K. A., Kunder, C. A., Longacre, T. A. 2018


Smooth muscle tumor of uncertain malignant potential (STUMP) is a rare diagnosis rendered when there is uncertainty concerning the biological potential of a smooth muscle tumor. The initial differential diagnosis is often broad, as tumors in this subgroup are morphologically heterogenous. Recent data suggest uterine inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMTs) with anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) rearrangement may be misclassified as STUMPs, but the extent to which this occurs has not been examined. We identified 60 female patients with tumors previously diagnosed as STUMP (48 cases) or prospectively considered for the diagnosis of STUMP (12 cases). Each case underwent histologic review, ALK immunohistochemistry (IHC) and confirmatory break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for ALK if immunoreactive. Six of the 43 (14%) uterine and cervical tumors were ALK IHC positive, whereas tumors at all other sites were ALK IHC negative. Myxoid features, although limited in some cases, were present in all 6 ALK IHC positive tumors, representing 35% (6/17) of tumors displaying myxoid features at uterine and cervical sites. All ALK immunoreactive tumors were confirmed to have ALK rearrangements by FISH with 1 tumor showing numerous (3 to 8) 3' ALK signals, an unusual FISH pattern not previously described in uterine IMTs. Two patients developed recurrent disease and were treated with ALK-targeted therapy with initial response. Our data demonstrate that a significant proportion of uterine and cervical tumors considered to be STUMPs are ALK-positive by IHC and FISH. Future screening of all uterine and cervical mesenchymal tumors under consideration for the diagnosis of STUMP, particularly those with myxoid features, is recommended to identify ALK-rearranged IMTs that could potentially be treated with targeted therapy using tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

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