The 2020 WHO Classification of Soft Tissue Tumours: news and perspectives.
Mesenchymal tumours represent one of the most challenging field of diagnostic pathology and refinement of classification schemes plays a key role in improving the quality of pathologic diagnosis and, as a consequence, of therapeutic options. The recent publication of the new WHO classification of Soft Tissue Tumours and Bone represents a major step toward improved standardization of diagnosis. Importantly, the 2020 WHO classification has been opened to expert clinicians that have further contributed to underline the key value of pathologic diagnosis as a rationale for proper treatment. Several relevant advances have been introduced. In the attempt to improve the prediction of clinical behaviour of solitary fibrous tumour, a risk assessment scheme has been implemented. NTRK-rearranged soft tissue tumours are now listed as an "emerging entity" also in consideration of the recent therapeutic developments in terms of NTRK inhibition. This decision has been source of a passionate debate regarding the definition of "tumour entity" as well as the consequences of a "pathology agnostic" approach to precision oncology. In consideration of their distinct clinicopathologic features, undifferentiated round cell sarcomas are now kept separate from Ewing sarcoma and subclassified, according to the underlying gene rearrangements, into three main subgroups (CIC, BCLR and not ETS fused sarcomas) Importantly, In order to avoid potential confusion, tumour entities such as gastrointestinal stroma tumours are addressed homogenously across the different WHO fascicles. Pathologic diagnosis represents the integration of morphologic, immunohistochemical and molecular characteristics and is a key element of clinical decision making. The WHO classification is as a key instrument to promote multidisciplinarity, stimulating pathologists, geneticists and clinicians to join efforts aimed to translate novel pathologic findings into more effective treatments.
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