ETS-related Gene (ERG) is Differentially Expressed in Dermatofibroma (Fibrous Histiocytoma) as Compared With Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans and Hypertrophic Scars: A Pilot Immunohistochemical Study

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Applied immunohistochemistry & molecular morphology : AIMM / official publication of the Society for Applied Immunohistochemistry


Immunohistochemical staining can be of great utility in differentiating various cutaneous spindle cell neoplasms, particularly when the histomorphologic appearance of the lesions is inconclusive. Nuclear staining for ETS-related gene (ERG), a highly sensitive endothelial cell marker, has seldom been studied in the context of cutaneous spindle cell neoplasms. Little is known about its specificity for vascular differentiation. In this pilot study, immunohistochemical analysis for ERG was performed on 15 dermatofibromas (DF), 10 keloids, and 9 dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) tumors. Consistent nuclear expression of ERG was found in DF [100% (15/15) of the lesions demonstrated >50% labeling of tumor cells with moderate to strong intensity]. However, ERG expression was largely absent in DFSP [89% (8/9) of the lesions demonstrating <50% labeling staining, generally of mild intensity] and hypertrophic scars-keloids [80% (8/10) without expression]. On the basis of the results of this pilot study, immunohistochemical staining for ERG may prove useful in helping to differentiate DF from DFSP and hypertrophic scars in the context of partial biopsy sampling. If replicated in a larger number of samples, this finding could mitigate the use of costly sequencing panels and potentially avoid unnecessary reexcisions in certain contexts.

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ePub ahead of print