JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Epithelioid hemangioma of bone harboring FOS and FOSB gene rearrangements: A clinicopathologic and molecular study.

The diagnosis of epithelioid hemangioma (EH) remains challenging due to its rarity, worrisome histologic features, and locally aggressive clinical and radiographic presentation. Especially in the bone, EH can be misdiagnosed as a malignant vascular neoplasm due its lytic, often destructive or multifocal growth, as well as atypical morphology. The discovery of recurrent FOS and FOSB gene fusions in the pathogenesis of most EH has strengthened its stand-alone classification, distinct from other malignant epithelioid vascular lesions, such as epithelioid hemangioendothelioma or angiosarcoma. In this study we investigate a group of molecularly confirmed skeletal EH by the presence of FOS or FOSB gene rearrangements to better define its clinical and pathologic characteristics within a homogenous molecular subset. The cohort included 38 patients (25 males, 13 females), with a mean age at diagnosis of 38 years (range, 4-75). Regional, multifocal presentation was noted in 10 cases. Only six cases were correctly recognized as EH by the referring institutions, while most were misdiagnosed as other vascular tumors. Of the 17 patients with follow-up data available, five patients (29%) developed local recurrence after marginal en bloc excision (n = 3) or curettage (n = 2). Local recurrence-free survival rates were 84% at 3 years and 38% at 5 years. No metastasis or disease-related death was identified. Imaging studies exhibited no specific features, showing cortical bone destruction and soft-tissue extension in 14 (38%) cases. FOS gene rearrangements were detected in 28 (74%) of cases, while FOSB rearrangements in 10 (26%) cases. Our results highlight the significant challenges encountered in establishing a correct diagnosis exclusive of the molecular testing, mainly due to its overlap to other malignant epithelioid vascular tumors. Skeletal EH emerges as a genetically defined locally aggressive vascular neoplasm, with a high rate of local recurrence, but lacking the propensity for distant spread.

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