Gene Summary

Gene:BCOR; BCL6 corepressor
Aliases: MAA2, ANOP2, MCOPS2
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene was identified as an interacting corepressor of BCL6, a POZ/zinc finger transcription repressor that is required for germinal center formation and may influence apoptosis. This protein selectively interacts with the POZ domain of BCL6, but not with eight other POZ proteins. Specific class I and II histone deacetylases (HDACs) have been shown to interact with this protein, which suggests a possible link between the two classes of HDACs. Several transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. A pseudogene of this gene is found on chromosome Y.[provided by RefSeq, Jun 2010]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:BCL-6 corepressor
Source:NCBIAccessed: 13 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 13 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 13 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: BCOR (cancer-related)

Machado I, Navarro L, Pellin A, et al.
Defining Ewing and Ewing-like small round cell tumors (SRCT): The need for molecular techniques in their categorization and differential diagnosis. A study of 200 cases.
Ann Diagn Pathol. 2016; 22:25-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Differentiation of Ewing sarcoma family of tumors (ESFT) and Ewing-like tumors remains problematic. Certain ESFT with morphological and immunohistochemical (IHC) profiles lack the EWSR1-ETS transcript. To improve diagnostic accuracy we investigated the presence of several specific transcripts in 200 small round cell tumors (SRCT) displaying ESFT morphology and immunophenotype in which EWSR1 FISH analysis was non-informative or negative.
DESIGN: 200 tumors (formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded) were analyzed by RT-PCR. All tumors were tested for EWSR1-ETS, EWSR1/WT1, PAX3/7-FOX01 or SYT/SSX transcripts, and the negative tumors were subsequently analyzed for CIC/DUX4, BCOR/CCNB3 and CIC/FOX04 transcripts.
RESULTS: 133 (66.5%) ESFT displayed one of the above EWSR1-ETS translocations. Three cases (1.5%) revealed the SYT-SSX transcript for Synovial sarcoma, and one (0.5%) a EWSR1-WT1 transcript for Desmoplastic Small Round Cell tumor. The CIC-DUX4 translocation was found in six Ewing-like tumors (3%) with CD99 positivity. The BCOR-CCNB3 gene fusion was observed in 5 tumors (2.5%) displaying round or spindle cells with strong CCNB3 IHC expression in 3 tumors. Moreover, RT-PCR failed to detect any gene fusion transcripts in 19 tumors (9.5%) and were considered "undifferentiated small round cell sarcoma" (SRCS). Molecular biology results were non-informative in 33 SRCTs (16.5%) due to RNA degradation through inadequate fixation and/or decalcification.
CONCLUSION: Our analysis of 200 SRCTs confirms the molecular heterogeneity of neoplasms with ESFT morphology and highlight that molecular studies with RT-PCR including new emerging gene fusion transcripts are mandatory for the diagnosis when EWSR1 FISH is negative or non-informative. The incidence of CIC-DUX4, BCOR-CCNB3 and CIC-FOX04 transcripts was relatively low. A small group of Ewing-like sarcomas or undifferentiated SRCS remains unclassified. Adopting appropriate tissue fixation and processing protocols is important to avoid degradation of fixed/embedded tissue when no frozen tumor is available.

Kenny C, Bausenwein S, Lazaro A, et al.
Mutually exclusive BCOR internal tandem duplications and YWHAE-NUTM2 fusions in clear cell sarcoma of kidney: not the full story.
J Pathol. 2016; 238(5):617-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Internal tandem duplication within the BCOR gene sequence that encodes the PUFD domain, important in the formation of the non-canonical or variant polycomb repressor complex 1 (v-PRC1), was very recently described in 100% of 20 clear cell sarcomas of kidney (CCSKs). None of those 20 cases bore the YWHAE-NUTM2 transcript, previously described by us in CCSK, and which constitutes the only other recurrent genetic aberration observed in CCSK, prompting consideration that these mutations might be mutually exclusive in CCSK. We analysed a cohort of 159 CCSKs and can now not only confirm that there is indeed mutual exclusivity of these BCOR and YWHAE mutations, but also show that a substantial proportion (in this series 11.8%) of CCSKs bear neither mutation when tested by these assays, raising the possibility of distinct aetiologies for subsets of CCSK. Clinical differences observed between the subsets support this notion. As CCSK may show poor chemo-responsiveness, and current treatment protocols mandate the use of doxorubicin with its associated side-effects, advances in understanding the disease biology with a view to more targeted and personalized treatment is a pressing need.

Sturm D, Orr BA, Toprak UH, et al.
New Brain Tumor Entities Emerge from Molecular Classification of CNS-PNETs.
Cell. 2016; 164(5):1060-72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Primitive neuroectodermal tumors of the central nervous system (CNS-PNETs) are highly aggressive, poorly differentiated embryonal tumors occurring predominantly in young children but also affecting adolescents and adults. Herein, we demonstrate that a significant proportion of institutionally diagnosed CNS-PNETs display molecular profiles indistinguishable from those of various other well-defined CNS tumor entities, facilitating diagnosis and appropriate therapy for patients with these tumors. From the remaining fraction of CNS-PNETs, we identify four new CNS tumor entities, each associated with a recurrent genetic alteration and distinct histopathological and clinical features. These new molecular entities, designated "CNS neuroblastoma with FOXR2 activation (CNS NB-FOXR2)," "CNS Ewing sarcoma family tumor with CIC alteration (CNS EFT-CIC)," "CNS high-grade neuroepithelial tumor with MN1 alteration (CNS HGNET-MN1)," and "CNS high-grade neuroepithelial tumor with BCOR alteration (CNS HGNET-BCOR)," will enable meaningful clinical trials and the development of therapeutic strategies for patients affected by poorly differentiated CNS tumors.

López C, Bergmann AK, Paul U, et al.
Genes encoding members of the JAK-STAT pathway or epigenetic regulators are recurrently mutated in T-cell prolymphocytic leukaemia.
Br J Haematol. 2016; 173(2):265-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
T-cell prolymphocytic leukaemia (T-PLL) is an aggressive leukaemia. The primary genetic alteration in T-PLL are the inv(14)(q11q32)/t(14;14)(q11;q32) leading to TRD/TRA-TCL1A fusion, or the t(X;14)(q28;q11) associated with TRD/TRA-MTCP1 fusion. However, additional cooperating abnormalities are necessary for emergence of the full neoplastic phenotype. Though the pattern of secondary chromosomal aberrations is remarkably conserved, targets of the changes are largely unknown. We analysed a cohort of 43 well-characterized T-PLL for hotspot mutations in the genes JAK3, STAT5B and RHOA. Additionally, we selected a subset of 23 T-PLL cases for mutational screening of 54 genes known to be recurrently mutated in T-cell and other haematological neoplasms. Activating mutations in the investigated regions of the JAK3 and STAT5B genes were detected in 30% (13/43) and 21% (8/39) of the cases, respectively, and were mutually exclusive. Further, we identified mutations in the genes encoding the epigenetic regulators EZH2 in 13% (3/23), TET2 in 17% (4/23) and BCOR in 9% (2/23) of the cases. We confirmed that the JAK-STAT pathway is a major mutational target, and identified epigenetic regulators recurrently mutated in T-PLL. These findings complement the mutational spectrum of secondary aberrations in T-PLL and underscore the potential therapeutical relevance of epigenetic regulators in T-PLL.

Dobashi A, Tsuyama N, Asaka R, et al.
Frequent BCOR aberrations in extranodal NK/T-Cell lymphoma, nasal type.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016; 55(5):460-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Extranodal natural killer/T cell lymphoma (ENKTL) is a rare subtype of lymphoma. Recurrent mutations in the JAK-STAT pathway, recently reported in ENKTL cases, are interesting in terms of both pathogenesis and inhibitor therapy. However, the frequencies of these mutations are low and variable among reports, and other pathognomonic mutations in ENKTL remain to be elucidated. In the present study, targeted capture sequencing of 602 cancer-related genes from 25 frozen ENKTL samples was performed, 11 of which were matched to normal samples. Several recurrent somatic mutations involving BCOR (32%), TP53 (16%), DDX3X (12%), FAT4 (8%), NRAS (8%), MLL3 (12%), and MIR17HG (8%) were identified. The pattern of BCOR aberrations (1 nonsense and 5 frame-shift mutations, a mutation leading to a splicing error, and gene loss) suggested that loss of function of BCOR was the functionally important outcome of such changes. The literature was reviewed and the public data on BCOR aberrations was reanalyzed and it was found that the aberrations were frequently found in myeloid neoplasms, but, interestingly, were highly specific to ENKTL among lymphoid malignancies. Given the high frequency and pattern of aberration, BCOR is likely to play an important role in ENKTL pathogenesis as a tumor suppressor gene.

Specht K, Zhang L, Sung YS, et al.
Novel BCOR-MAML3 and ZC3H7B-BCOR Gene Fusions in Undifferentiated Small Blue Round Cell Sarcomas.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2016; 40(4):433-42 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Small blue round cell tumors (SBRCTs) are a heterogenous group of tumors that are difficult to diagnose because of overlapping morphologic, immunohistochemical, and clinical features. About two-thirds of EWSR1-negative SBRCTs are associated with CIC-DUX4-related fusions, whereas another small subset shows BCOR-CCNB3 X-chromosomal paracentric inversion. Applying paired-end RNA sequencing to an SBRCT index case of a 44-year-old man, we identified a novel BCOR-MAML3 chimeric fusion, which was validated by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and fluorescence in situ hybridization techniques. We then screened a total of 75 SBRCTs lacking EWSR1, FUS, SYT, CIC, and BCOR-CCNB3 abnormalities for BCOR break-apart probes by fluorescence in situ hybridization to detect potential recurrent BCOR gene rearrangements outside the typical X-chromosomal inversion. Indeed, 8/75 (11%) SBRCTs showed distinct BCOR gene rearrangements, with 2 cases each showing either a BCOR-MAML3 or the alternative ZC3H7B-BCOR fusion, whereas no fusion partner was detected in the remaining 4 cases. Gene expression of the BCOR-MAML3-positive index case showed a distinct transcriptional profile with upregulation of HOX-gene signature, compared with classic Ewing's sarcoma or CIC-DUX4-positive SBRCTs. The clinicopathologic features of the SBRCTs with alternative BCOR rearrangements were also compared with a group of BCOR-CCNB3 inversion-positive cases, combining 11 from our files with a meta-analysis of 42 published cases. The BCOR-CCNB3-positive tumors occurred preferentially in children and in bone, in contrast to alternative BCOR-rearranged SBRCTs, which presented in young adults, with a variable anatomic distribution. Furthermore, BCOR-rearranged tumors often displayed spindle cell areas, either well defined in intersecting fascicles or blending with the round cell component, which appears distinct from most other fusion-positive SBRCTs and shares histologic overlap with poorly differentiated synovial sarcoma.

Schneider N, Fisher C, Thway K
Ossifying fibromyxoid tumor: morphology, genetics, and differential diagnosis.
Ann Diagn Pathol. 2016; 20:52-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ossifying fibromyxoid tumor (OFMT) is a soft tissue neoplasm of uncertain differentiation and intermediate (rarely metastasizing) biologic potential, with typical morphologic features, of an encapsulated, lobulated tumor comprising uniform polygonal cells within fibromyxoid stroma, which is surrounded by or contains metaplastic bone, classically as a peripheral rim of lamellar bone. Ossifying fibromyxoid tumor can arise at almost any site, although most frequently occurs within the extremities and trunk. Although most behave in a benign fashion, tumors can rarely show atypical or malignant features. It is now established that OFMTs represent translocation-associated tumors, with up to 85% associated with recurrent gene rearrangements, mostly involving the PHF1 gene (including in typical, atypical, and malignant neoplasms), with EP400-PHF1 in approximately 40% of tumors, and ZC3H7B-BCOR, MEAF6-PHF1, and EPC1-PHF1 fusions also described. Correct diagnosis is clinically important to ensure correct treatment and prognostication, both to avoid overdiagnosing OFMT as a malignant neoplasm such as osteosarcoma and also because of the propensity for aggressive behavior in a small number of OFMT. We review OFMT, with emphasis on the morphologic spectrum, recent molecular genetic findings, and the differential diagnosis.

Hoffman LM, DeWire M, Ryall S, et al.
Spatial genomic heterogeneity in diffuse intrinsic pontine and midline high-grade glioma: implications for diagnostic biopsy and targeted therapeutics.
Acta Neuropathol Commun. 2016; 4:1 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) and midline high-grade glioma (mHGG) are lethal childhood brain tumors. Spatial genomic heterogeneity has been well-described in adult HGG but has not been comprehensively characterized in pediatric HGG. We performed whole exome sequencing on 38-matched primary, contiguous, and metastatic tumor sites from eight children with DIPG (n = 7) or mHGG (n = 1) collected using a unique MRI-guided autopsy protocol. Validation was performed using Sanger sequencing, Droplet Digital polymerase-chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, and fluorescent in-situ hybridization.
RESULTS: Median age at diagnosis was 6.1 years (range: 2.9-23.3 years). Median overall survival was 13.2 months (range: 11.2-32.2 months). Contiguous tumor infiltration and distant metastases were observed in seven and six patients, respectively, including leptomeningeal dissemination in three DIPGs. Histopathological heterogeneity was evident in seven patients, including intra-pontine heterogeneity in two DIPGs, ranging from World Health Organization grade II to IV astrocytoma. We found conservation of heterozygous K27M mutations in H3F3A (n = 4) or HIST1H3B (n = 3) across all primary, contiguous, and metastatic tumor sites in all DIPGs. ACVR1 (n = 2), PIK3CA (n = 2), FGFR1 (n = 2), and MET (n = 1) were also intra-tumorally conserved. ACVR1 was co-mutated with HIST1H3B (n = 2). In contrast, PDGFRA amplification and mutation were spatially heterogeneous, as were mutations in BCOR (n = 1), ATRX (n = 2), and MYC (n = 1). TP53 aberrations (n = 3 patients) varied by type and location between primary and metastatic tumors sites but were intra-tumorally conserved.
CONCLUSION: Spatial conservation of prognostically-relevant and therapeutically-targetable somatic mutations in DIPG and mHGG contrasts the significant heterogeneity of driver mutations seen in adult HGG and supports uniform implementation of diagnostic biopsy in DIPG and mHGG to classify molecular risk groups and guide therapeutic strategy.

Park C, Ha SY, Kim ST, et al.
Identification of the BRAF V600E mutation in gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(4):4024-35 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Genomic profiles of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (GEP-NETs) are still insufficiently understood, and the genetic alterations associated with drug responses have not been studied. Here, we performed whole exome sequencing of 12 GEP-NETs from patients enrolled in a nonrandomized, open-labeled, single-center phase II study for pazopanib, and integrated our results with previously published results on pancreas (n = 12) and small intestine NETs (n = 50). The mean numbers of somatic mutations in each case varied widely from 20 to 4682. Among 12 GEP-NETs, eight showed mutations of more than one cancer-related gene, including TP53, CNBD1, RB1, APC, BCOR, BRAF, CTNNB1, EGFR, EP300, ERBB3, KDM6A, KRAS, MGA, MLL3, PTEN, RASA1, SMARCB1, SPEN, TBC1D12, and VHL. TP53 was recurrently mutated in three cases, whereas CNBD1 and RB1 mutations were identified in two cases. Three GEP-NET patients with TP53 mutations demonstrated a durable response and one small intestinal grade (G) 1 NET patient with BRAF V600E mutation showed progression after pazopanib treatment. We found BRAF V600E (G1 NET from rectum and two G3 NETs from colon) and BRAF G593S (G2 NET from pancreas) missense mutations (9.1%) in an independent cohort of 44 GEP-NETs from the rectum (n = 26), colon (n = 7), pancreas (n = 4), small intestine (n = 3), stomach (n = 3) and appendix (n = 1) by Sanger sequencing. All tumor specimens were obtained before chemotherapy. In conclusion, BRAF V600E mutation is likely to result in resistance to pazopanib but may be a potentianally actionable mutation in metastatic GEP-NETs patients.

Roy A, Kumar V, Zorman B, et al.
Recurrent internal tandem duplications of BCOR in clear cell sarcoma of the kidney.
Nat Commun. 2015; 6:8891 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
The X-linked BCL-6 co-repressor (BCOR) gene encodes a key constituent of a variant polycomb repressive complex (PRC) that is mutated or translocated in human cancers. Here we report on the identification of somatic internal tandem duplications (ITDs) clustering in the C terminus of BCOR in 23 of 27 (85%) pediatric clear cell sarcomas of the kidney (CCSK) from two independent cohorts. We profile CCSK tumours using a combination of whole-exome, transcriptome and targeted sequencing. Identical ITD mutations are found in primary and relapsed tumour pairs but not in adjacent normal kidney or blood. Mutant BCOR transcripts and proteins are markedly upregulated in ITD-positive tumours. Transcriptome analysis of ITD-positive CCSKs reveals enrichment for PRC2-regulated genes and similarity to undifferentiated sarcomas harbouring BCOR-CCNB3 fusions. The discovery of recurrent BCOR ITDs defines a major oncogenic event in this childhood sarcoma with significant implications for diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to this tumour.

Astolfi A, Melchionda F, Perotti D, et al.
Whole transcriptome sequencing identifies BCOR internal tandem duplication as a common feature of clear cell sarcoma of the kidney.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(38):40934-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Clear cell sarcoma of the kidney (CCSK) is a rare pediatric renal tumor that is frequently difficult to distinguish among other childhood renal tumors due to its histological heterogeneity. This work evaluates genetic abnormalities carried by a series of CCSK samples by whole transcriptome sequencing (WTS), to identify molecular biomarkers that could improve the diagnostic process.
METHODS: WTS was performed on tumor RNA from 8 patients with CCSK. Bioinformatic analysis, with implementation of a pipeline for detection of intragenic rearrangements, was executed. Sanger sequencing and gene expression were evaluated to validate BCOR internal tandem duplication (ITD).
RESULTS: WTS did not identify any shared SNVs, Ins/Del or fusion event. Conversely, analysis of intragenic rearrangements enabled the detection of a breakpoint within BCOR transcript recurrent in all samples. Three different in-frame ITD in exon15 of BCOR, were detected. The presence of the ITD was confirmed on tumor DNA and cDNA, and resulted in overexpression of BCOR.
CONCLUSIONS: WTS coupled with specific bioinformatic analysis is able to detect rare genetic events, as intragenic rearrangements. ITD in the last exon of BCOR is recurrent in all CCSK samples analyzed, representing a valuable molecular marker to improve diagnosis of this rare childhood renal tumor.

Karlsson J, Valind A, Gisselsson D
BCOR internal tandem duplication and YWHAE-NUTM2B/E fusion are mutually exclusive events in clear cell sarcoma of the kidney.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016; 55(2):120-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clear cell sarcoma of the kidney (CCSK) is the second most common pediatric renal tumor. Two recurrent genetic aberrations have been described in CCSK. One is a fusion of YWHAE and NUTM2B/E, the other is an internal tandem duplication (ITD) in the BCOR gene. Here it is shown that YWHAE-NUTM2B/E fusion and the BCOR ITD are mutually exclusive events and activated different downstream signaling systems. This has important diagnostic implications and opens up for further mechanistic studies of CCSK pathogenesis.

Stengel A, Kern W, Zenger M, et al.
Genetic characterization of T-PLL reveals two major biologic subgroups and JAK3 mutations as prognostic marker.
Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2016; 55(1):82-94 [PubMed] Related Publications
T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL) is a rare post-thymic T-cell neoplasm with aggressive clinical course and short overall survival. So far, due to the rareness of this disease, genetic data are available only from individual cases or small cohorts. In our study, we aimed at performing a comprehensive cytogenetic and molecular genetic characterization of T-PLL comprising the largest cohort of patients with T-PLL analyzed so far, including correlations between the respective markers and their impact on prognosis. Genetic abnormalities were found in all 51 cases with T-PLL, most frequently involving the TCRA/D locus (86%). Deletions were detected for ATM (69%) and TP53 (31%), whereas i(8)(q10) was observed in 61% of cases. Mutations in ATM, TP53, JAK1, and JAK3 were detected in 73, 14, 6, and 21% of patients, respectively. Additionally, BCOR mutations were observed for the first time in a lymphoid malignancy (8%). Two distinct genetic subgroups of T-PLL were identified: A large subset (86% of patients) showed abnormalities involving the TCRA/D locus activating the proto-oncogenes TCL1 or MTCP1, while the second group was characterized by a high frequency of TP53 mutations (4/7 cases). Further, analyses of overall survival identified JAK3 mutations as important prognostic marker, showing a significant negative impact.

Abe H, Kaneda A, Fukayama M
Epstein-Barr Virus-Associated Gastric Carcinoma: Use of Host Cell Machineries and Somatic Gene Mutations.
Pathobiology. 2015; 82(5):212-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated gastric carcinoma (EBVaGC) is a distinct subtype of gastric carcinoma, consisting of clonal growth of EBV-infected epithelial cells. Its unique characteristics have been demonstrated by epidemiological, clinical and pathological studies using in situ hybridization for EBV-encoded small RNAs. An oncogenic process for EBVaGC has also been revealed. EBV uses various host-cell machineries, including cell division machinery to propagate clonal virus genomes, DNA-methylation machinery to epigenetically control infected cells, and microRNA and exosome machineries to modify the behavior and microenvironment of infected cells. Recent comprehensive molecular analyses from The Cancer Genome Atlas project demonstrate that EBVaGC is a representative molecular subtype that is distinct from microsatellite unstable, genomically stable and chromosome unstable subtypes. In addition to having the highest level of DNA methylation in CpG islands of promoter regions, EBVaGC harbors particular gene alterations, including a high frequency of mutations in PIK3CA and ARID1A, mutation in BCOR, and amplification of PD-L1 and PD-L2. Although currently undetermined, the virus might use the altered cellular functions that are induced by these somatic mutations. Further investigation of virus-driven oncogenesis will enable hitherto unknown functions of stomach epithelial cell machineries to be elucidated, which may reveal potential therapeutic targets for EBVaGC.

Seki M, Nishimura R, Yoshida K, et al.
Integrated genetic and epigenetic analysis defines novel molecular subgroups in rhabdomyosarcoma.
Nat Commun. 2015; 6:7557 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft-tissue sarcoma in childhood. Here we studied 60 RMSs using whole-exome/-transcriptome sequencing, copy number (CN) and DNA methylome analyses to unravel the genetic/epigenetic basis of RMS. On the basis of methylation patterns, RMS is clustered into four distinct subtypes, which exhibits remarkable correlation with mutation/CN profiles, histological phenotypes and clinical behaviours. A1 and A2 subtypes, especially A1, largely correspond to alveolar histology with frequent PAX3/7 fusions and alterations in cell cycle regulators. In contrast, mostly showing embryonal histology, both E1 and E2 subtypes are characterized by high frequency of CN alterations and/or allelic imbalances, FGFR4/RAS/AKT pathway mutations and PTEN mutations/methylation and in E2, also by p53 inactivation. Despite the better prognosis of embryonal RMS, patients in the E2 are likely to have a poor prognosis. Our results highlight the close relationships of the methylation status and gene mutations with the biological behaviour in RMS.

Yoshizato T, Dumitriu B, Hosokawa K, et al.
Somatic Mutations and Clonal Hematopoiesis in Aplastic Anemia.
N Engl J Med. 2015; 373(1):35-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In patients with acquired aplastic anemia, destruction of hematopoietic cells by the immune system leads to pancytopenia. Patients have a response to immunosuppressive therapy, but myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia develop in about 15% of the patients, usually many months to years after the diagnosis of aplastic anemia.
METHODS: We performed next-generation sequencing and array-based karyotyping using 668 blood samples obtained from 439 patients with aplastic anemia. We analyzed serial samples obtained from 82 patients.
RESULTS: Somatic mutations in myeloid cancer candidate genes were present in one third of the patients, in a limited number of genes and at low initial variant allele frequency. Clonal hematopoiesis was detected in 47% of the patients, most frequently as acquired mutations. The prevalence of the mutations increased with age, and mutations had an age-related signature. DNMT3A-mutated and ASXL1-mutated clones tended to increase in size over time; the size of BCOR- and BCORL1-mutated and PIGA-mutated clones decreased or remained stable. Mutations in PIGA and BCOR and BCORL1 correlated with a better response to immunosuppressive therapy and longer and a higher rate of overall and progression-free survival; mutations in a subgroup of genes that included DNMT3A and ASXL1 were associated with worse outcomes. However, clonal dynamics were highly variable and might not necessarily have predicted the response to therapy and long-term survival among individual patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Clonal hematopoiesis was prevalent in aplastic anemia. Some mutations were related to clinical outcomes. A highly biased set of mutations is evidence of Darwinian selection in the failed bone marrow environment. The pattern of somatic clones in individual patients over time was variable and frequently unpredictable. (Funded by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research and others.).

Ueno-Yokohata H, Okita H, Nakasato K, et al.
Consistent in-frame internal tandem duplications of BCOR characterize clear cell sarcoma of the kidney.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(8):861-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
Clear cell sarcoma of the kidney (CCSK) is one of the major pediatric renal neoplasms, but its associated genetic abnormalities are largely unknown. We identified internal tandem duplications in the BCOR gene (BCL6 corepressor) affecting the C terminus in 100% (20/20) of CCSK tumors but in none (0/193) of the other pediatric renal tumors. CCSK tumors expressed only an aberrant BCOR allele, indicating a close correlation between BCOR aberration and CCSK tumorigenesis.

Lee S, Park HY, Kang SY, et al.
Genetic alterations of JAK/STAT cascade and histone modification in extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma nasal type.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(19):17764-76 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma nasal type (ENKL) is a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that more frequently occurs in East Asia and Latin America. Even though its molecular background has been discussed in the last few years, the current knowledge does not explain the disease pathogenesis in most cases of ENKL. Here, we performed multiple types of next-generation sequencing on 34 ENKL samples, including whole-exome sequencing (9 cancer tissues and 4 cancer cell lines), targeted sequencing (21 cancer tissues), and RNA sequencing (3 cancer tissues and 4 cancer cell lines). Mutations were found most frequently in 3 genes, STAT3, BCOR, and MLL2 (which were present in 9, 7, and 6 cancer samples, respectively), whereas there were only 2 cases of JAK3 mutation. In total, JAK/STAT pathway- and histone modification-related genes accounted for 55.9% and 38.2% of cancer samples, respectively, and their involvement in ENKL pathogenesis was also supported by gene expression analysis. In addition, we provided 177 genes upregulated only in cancer tissues, which appear to be linked with angiocentric and angiodestructive growth of ENKL. In this study, we propose several novel driver genes of ENKL, and show that these genes and their functional groups may be future therapeutic targets of this disease.

Haidar A, Arekapudi S, DeMattia F, et al.
High-grade undifferentiated small round cell sarcoma with t(4;19)(q35;q13.1) CIC-DUX4 fusion: emerging entities of soft tissue tumors with unique histopathologic features--a case report and literature review.
Am J Case Rep. 2015; 16:87-94 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A subset of undifferentiated small round cell sarcomas (USRCSs) is currently being recognized as emerging entities with unique gene fusions: CIC-DUX4 (the area of focus in this article), BCOR-CCNB3, or CIC-FOXO4 gene fusions. CIC-DUX4 and CIC-FOXO4 fusions have been reported in soft tissue tumors, while BCOR-CCNB3 fusion with an X chromosomal inversion was described in both bone and soft tissue tumors. CIC-DUX4 fusion can either harbor t(4;19)(q35;q13.1) or t(10;19)(q26.3;q13), while t(4;19)(q35;q13.1) is reported more commonly.
CASE REPORT: The aim of this study is to share a new case report of a 36-year-old woman who had a rapidly growing mass in her right upper thigh, which was found to be an undifferentiated small round cell sarcoma with t(4;19)(q35;q13.1) CIC-DUX4 fusion was confirmed by cytogenetic testing. Combined modality treatment with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy was used and achieved a good response. A review of the literature of the reported cases with CIC-DUX4 fusions including both t(4;19) and t(10;19) translocations revealed a total of 44 cases reported. Out of these 44 cases, 33 showed t(4;19)(q35;q13.1) translocation compared to 11 cases with t(10;19)(q26.3;q13).
CONCLUSIONS: Undifferentiated small round cell sarcomas are aggressive tumors. Their treatment includes surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Resistance to chemotherapy is common. Lung and brain are common sites of metastasis, with associated poor prognosis. Generally, median survival is less than 2 years. Newer techniques have been developed recently which helped identify a subset of previously unclassifiable sarcomas, with promising prognostic value.

Jhanwar SC
Genetic and epigenetic pathways in myelodysplastic syndromes: A brief overview.
Adv Biol Regul. 2015; 58:28-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are a highly heterogenous group of hematopoietic tumors, mainly due to variable clinical features and diverse set of cytogenetic, molecular genetic and epigenetic lesions. The major clinical features of MDS are ineffective hematopoiesis, peripheral cytopenias, and an increased risk of transformation to acute myeloid leukemias, which in turn is most likely determined by specific genetic abnormalities and other presenting hematologic features. The risk of developing MDS is relatively higher in some genetic syndromes such as Fanconi anemia and receipt of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. In recent years a significant progress has occurred and a vast literatures has become available including the spectrum of cytogenetic abnormalities, gene mutations relating to RNA splicing machinery, epigenetic regulation of gene expression and signaling pathways associated with MDS pathogenesis, which have provided opportunities to understand the molecular mechanisms as well as employ targeted therapeutic approaches to treat MDS. The cytogenetic abnormalities detected in MDS varies from a single abnormality to complex karyotype not easily amenable to conventional cytogenetic analysis. In such cases, array based high resolution genomic analysis detected abnormalities, which are diagnostic as well as prognostic. The most common driver gene mutations detected in patients with MDS include RNA splicing (SF3B1,SRSF2,U2F1,ZRSR2), DNA methylation (TET2,DNMT3A,IDH1/IDH2), chromatin modification (ASXL1,EZH2), transcription regulation (RUNX1,BCOR) and DNA repair control p53. A small subset of MDS arise due to deregulation of RAS pathway, mainly due to NRAS/KRAS/NF1 mutations. Identification of these mutations and pathways have provided opportunities for oncologists to target these patients with specific therapies. Several drugs which either target the spliceosome, oncogenic RAS signaling, or hypomethylating agents have been employed to successfully treat MDS patients.

Bolli N, Manes N, McKerrell T, et al.
Characterization of gene mutations and copy number changes in acute myeloid leukemia using a rapid target enrichment protocol.
Haematologica. 2015; 100(2):214-22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Prognostic stratification is critical for making therapeutic decisions and maximizing survival of patients with acute myeloid leukemia. Advances in the genomics of acute myeloid leukemia have identified several recurrent gene mutations whose prognostic impact is being deciphered. We used HaloPlex target enrichment and Illumina-based next generation sequencing to study 24 recurrently mutated genes in 42 samples of acute myeloid leukemia with a normal karyotype. Read depth varied between and within genes for the same sample, but was predictable and highly consistent across samples. Consequently, we were able to detect copy number changes, such as an interstitial deletion of BCOR, three MLL partial tandem duplications, and a novel KRAS amplification. With regards to coding mutations, we identified likely oncogenic variants in 41 of 42 samples. NPM1 mutations were the most frequent, followed by FLT3, DNMT3A and TET2. NPM1 and FLT3 indels were reported with good efficiency. We also showed that DNMT3A mutations can persist post-chemotherapy and in 2 cases studied at diagnosis and relapse, we were able to delineate the dynamics of tumor evolution and give insights into order of acquisition of variants. HaloPlex is a quick and reliable target enrichment method that can aid diagnosis and prognostic stratification of acute myeloid leukemia patients.

Peters TL, Kumar V, Polikepahad S, et al.
BCOR-CCNB3 fusions are frequent in undifferentiated sarcomas of male children.
Mod Pathol. 2015; 28(4):575-86 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
The BCOR-CCNB3 fusion gene, resulting from a chromosome X paracentric inversion, was recently described in translocation-negative 'Ewing-like' sarcomas arising in bone and soft tissue. Genetic subclassification of undifferentiated unclassified sarcomas may potentially offer markers for reproducible diagnosis and substrates for therapy. Using whole transcriptome paired-end RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) we unexpectedly identified BCOR-CCNB3 fusion transcripts in an undifferentiated spindle-cell sarcoma. RNA-seq results were confirmed through direct RT-PCR of tumor RNA and cloning of the genomic breakpoints from tumor DNA. Five additional undifferentiated sarcomas with BCOR-CCNB3 fusions were identified in a series of 42 pediatric and adult unclassified sarcomas. Genomic breakpoint analysis demonstrated unique breakpoint locations in each case at the DNA level even though the resulting fusion mRNA was identical in all cases. All patients with BCOR-CCNB3 sarcoma were males diagnosed in mid childhood (7-13 years of age). Tumors were equally distributed between axial and extra-axial locations. Five of the six tumors were soft-tissue lesions with either predominant spindle-cell morphology or spindle-cell areas interspersed with ovoid to round cells. CCNB3 immunohistochemistry showed strong nuclear positivity in five tumors before oncologic therapy, but was patchy to negative in post-treatment tumor samples. An RT-PCR assay developed to detect the fusion transcript in archival formalin-fixed tissue was positive in all six cases, with high sensitivity and specificity in both pre- and post-treated samples. This study adds to recent reports on the clinicopathologic spectrum of BCOR-CCNB3 fusion-positive sarcomas, a newly emerging entity within the undifferentiated unclassified sarcoma category and describes a simple RT-PCR assay that in conjunction with CCNB3 immunohistochemistry can be useful in diagnosing these tumors.

Moreira AL, Won HH, McMillan R, et al.
Massively parallel sequencing identifies recurrent mutations in TP53 in thymic carcinoma associated with poor prognosis.
J Thorac Oncol. 2015; 10(2):373-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The characterization of the molecular alterations in thymic epithelial tumors may lead to a better understanding of tumorigenesis, new therapeutic targets, and biomarkers in these tumors.
METHODS: Paired tissue (tumor and matched normal) from 15 thymic carcinomas (TCA) and six B3 thymomas were evaluated by exon capture of 275 cancer-related genes, followed by deep coverage next-generation sequencing, which identifies somatic sequence variants, small insertions and deletions, and copy number alterations involving all exons of the captured genes.
RESULTS: Non-silent somatic mutations were identified in 12 of 15 (80%) TCA with a median of one mutation per tumor (range 0-26). Recurrent mutations were identified in tumor suppressor genes TP53 (n = 4), SMAD4 (n = 2), and CYLD (n = 2); and chromatin remodeling genes KDM6A (n = 3), SETD2 (n = 2), MLL3 (n = 2), and MLL2 (n = 2). Tumors with TP53 mutation appeared to exhibit more aggressive behavior. Therefore, the role of P53 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry in an additional ten cases. P53 overexpression correlated with TP53 mutation. These tumors had a higher rate of recurrence and death of disease compared to carcinoma with normal p53 expression (p = 0.02 for disease-free survival and p = 0.05 for overall survival). Among the B3 thymomas, mutations were identified in four of six tumors. Mutations in BCOR (BCL6 co-repressor) were seen in three thymomas and MLL3 (involved in histone methylation) in one tumor.
CONCLUSIONS: Next-generation sequencing of cancer genes in thymic epithelial tumors revealed a low frequency of mutation, with different patterns between TCA and B3 thymomas. TP53 and BCOR were the most frequently mutated genes in TCA and B3 thymomas, respectively. Alterations in p53 are associated with worse prognosis in TCA.

Tirode F, Surdez D, Ma X, et al.
Genomic landscape of Ewing sarcoma defines an aggressive subtype with co-association of STAG2 and TP53 mutations.
Cancer Discov. 2014; 4(11):1342-53 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Ewing sarcoma is a primary bone tumor initiated by EWSR1-ETS gene fusions. To identify secondary genetic lesions that contribute to tumor progression, we performed whole-genome sequencing of 112 Ewing sarcoma samples and matched germline DNA. Overall, Ewing sarcoma tumors had relatively few single-nucleotide variants, indels, structural variants, and copy-number alterations. Apart from whole chromosome arm copy-number changes, the most common somatic mutations were detected in STAG2 (17%), CDKN2A (12%), TP53 (7%), EZH2, BCOR, and ZMYM3 (2.7% each). Strikingly, STAG2 mutations and CDKN2A deletions were mutually exclusive, as confirmed in Ewing sarcoma cell lines. In an expanded cohort of 299 patients with clinical data, we discovered that STAG2 and TP53 mutations are often concurrent and are associated with poor outcome. Finally, we detected subclonal STAG2 mutations in diagnostic tumors and expansion of STAG2-immunonegative cells in relapsed tumors as compared with matched diagnostic samples.
SIGNIFICANCE: Whole-genome sequencing reveals that the somatic mutation rate in Ewing sarcoma is low. Tumors that harbor STAG2 and TP53 mutations have a particularly dismal prognosis with current treatments and require alternative therapies. Novel drugs that target epigenetic regulators may constitute viable therapeutic strategies in a subset of patients with mutations in chromatin modifiers.

Cohen-Gogo S, Cellier C, Coindre JM, et al.
Ewing-like sarcomas with BCOR-CCNB3 fusion transcript: a clinical, radiological and pathological retrospective study from the Société Française des Cancers de L'Enfant.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2014; 61(12):2191-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: This retrospective multicenter study assessed the clinical, radiological and pathological presentation, treatment and outcome of 26 patients with Ewing-like sarcoma harboring BCOR-CCNB3 gene fusion transcript. Tumor samples had been collected between 1994 and April 2012.
PROCEDURE: Eligibility criteria included assessment of a BCOR-CCNB3 transcript-positive tumor after molecular analysis and availability of minimal clinical and pathological data. Radiological data were also retrieved when possible. Data were analyzed by descriptive statistics and methods for survival analysis.
RESULTS: Median age at diagnosis was 13.1 years (5.9 to 25.6 years). Most patients (24/26) had localized tumors. All tumors but five were localized to bone. CCNB3 immunochemistry showed strong nuclear staining on all samples. No specific radiological features were found. Most patients received chemotherapy (15 according to protocols designed for Ewing tumors), before and/or after local treatment (surgery and/or radiotherapy, with 46.2% receiving both). Local and metastatic relapses were of poor prognosis. Induction chemotherapy and treatment according to an Ewing protocol might influence survival for patients with localized tumors. Sixteen patients are alive in complete remission with a median follow-up of 86 months. Five year overall survival and disease-free survival were respectively 76.5% (95% CI, 58%-95%) and 67.9% (95% CI, 48%-88%).
CONCLUSIONS: BCOR-CCNB3 transcript-positive Ewing-like sarcoma diagnosis should be discussed for a transcript-negative small round cell sarcoma in a child, adolescent or young adult patient. Diagnosis needs to be stated through CCNB3 immunochemistry or transcript identification. The exquisite chemosensitivity of these tumors should encourage the use of polychemotherapy for appropriate care, associated with best local tumor control.

Kulasekararaj AG, Jiang J, Smith AE, et al.
Somatic mutations identify a subgroup of aplastic anemia patients who progress to myelodysplastic syndrome.
Blood. 2014; 124(17):2698-704 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
The distinction between acquired aplastic anemia (AA) and hypocellular myelodysplastic syndrome (hMDS) is often difficult, especially nonsevere AA. We postulated that somatic mutations are present in a subset of AA, and predict malignant transformation. From our database, we identified 150 AA patients with no morphological evidence of MDS, who had stored bone marrow (BM) and constitutional DNA. We excluded Fanconi anemia, mutations of telomere maintenance, and a family history of BM failure (BMF) or cancer. The initial cohort of 57 patients was screened for 835 known genes associated with BMF and myeloid cancer; a second cohort of 93 patients was screened for mutations in ASXL1, DNMT3A, BCOR, TET2, and MPL. Somatic mutations were detected in 19% of AA, and included ASXL1 (n = 12), DNMT3A (n = 8) and BCOR (n = 6). Patients with somatic mutations had a longer disease duration (37 vs 8 months, P < .04), and shorter telomere lengths (median length, 0.9 vs 1.1, P < .001), compared with patients without mutations. Somatic mutations in AA patients with a disease duration of >6 months were associated with a 40% risk of transformation to MDS (P < .0002). Nearly one-fifth of AA patients harbor mutations in genes typically seen in myeloid malignancies that predicted for later transformation to MDS.

Thota S, Viny AD, Makishima H, et al.
Genetic alterations of the cohesin complex genes in myeloid malignancies.
Blood. 2014; 124(11):1790-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2017 Related Publications
Somatic cohesin mutations have been reported in myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). To account for the morphologic and cytogenetic diversity of these neoplasms, a well-annotated cohort of 1060 patients with myeloid malignancies including MDS (n = 386), myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) (n = 55), MDS/MPNs (n = 169), and AML (n = 450) were analyzed for cohesin gene mutational status, gene expression, and therapeutic and survival outcomes. Somatic cohesin defects were detected in 12% of patients with myeloid malignancies, whereas low expression of these genes was present in an additional 15% of patients. Mutations of cohesin genes were mutually exclusive and mostly resulted in predicted loss of function. Patients with low cohesin gene expression showed similar expression signatures as those with somatic cohesin mutations. Cross-sectional deep-sequencing analysis for clonal hierarchy demonstrated STAG2, SMC3, and RAD21 mutations to be ancestral in 18%, 18%, and 47% of cases, respectively, and each expanded to clonal dominance concordant with disease transformation. Cohesin mutations were significantly associated with RUNX1, Ras-family oncogenes, and BCOR and ASXL1 mutations and were most prevalent in high-risk MDS and secondary AML. Cohesin defects were associated with poor overall survival (27.2 vs 40 months; P = .023), especially in STAG2 mutant MDS patients surviving >12 months (median survival 35 vs 50 months; P = .017).

Herold T, Metzeler KH, Vosberg S, et al.
Isolated trisomy 13 defines a homogeneous AML subgroup with high frequency of mutations in spliceosome genes and poor prognosis.
Blood. 2014; 124(8):1304-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
In acute myeloid leukemia (AML), isolated trisomy 13 (AML+13) is a rare chromosomal abnormality whose prognostic relevance is poorly characterized. We analyzed the clinical course of 34 AML+13 patients enrolled in the German AMLCG-1999 and SAL trials and performed exome sequencing, targeted candidate gene sequencing and gene expression profiling. Relapse-free (RFS) and overall survival (OS) of AML+13 patients were inferior compared to other ELN Intermediate-II patients (n=855) (median RFS, 7.8 vs 14.1 months, P = .006; median OS 9.3 vs. 14.8 months, P = .004). Besides the known high frequency of RUNX1 mutations (75%), we identified mutations in spliceosome components in 88%, including SRSF2 codon 95 mutations in 81%. Recurring mutations were detected in ASXL1 (44%) and BCOR (25%). Two patients carried mutations in CEBPZ, suggesting that CEBPZ is a novel recurrently mutated gene in AML. Gene expression analysis revealed a homogeneous expression profile including upregulation of FOXO1 and FLT3 and downregulation of SPRY2. This is the most comprehensive clinical and biological characterization of AML+13 to date, and reveals a striking clustering of lesions in a few genes, defining AML+13 as a genetically homogeneous subgroup with alterations in a few critical cellular pathways. Clinicaltrials.gov identifiers: AMLCG-1999: NCT00266136; AML96: NCT00180115; AML2003: NCT00180102; and AML60+: NCT00893373.

Puls F, Niblett A, Marland G, et al.
BCOR-CCNB3 (Ewing-like) sarcoma: a clinicopathologic analysis of 10 cases, in comparison with conventional Ewing sarcoma.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2014; 38(10):1307-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
BCOR-CCNB3 fusion transcripts resulting from an X-chromosomal paracentric inversion were recently identified in a series of unclassifiable soft tissue and bone sarcomas with Ewing sarcoma-like morphology. The morphologic and clinical features of these sarcomas are, as yet, not well characterized. Here we describe the clinicopathologic features of 10 cases of BCOR-CCNB3 sarcoma and compare their clinical course with typical Ewing sarcoma. Nine of 10 patients were male, and all were 11 to 18 years of age. Seven tumors were located in the bone and 3 in the deep soft tissues. The histomorphologic spectrum was quite wide, with 7 tumors predominately showing small primitive cell morphology with angulated nuclei simulating so-called atypical Ewing sarcoma and 3 predominately showing spindle cell morphology. Recurrent and metastatic lesions showed increased cellularity and marked pleomorphism. Immunohistochemistry showed expression of CCNB3 (100%), bcl2 (90%), CD99 (60%), and CD117 (60%). Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for BCOR-CCNB3 fusion transcripts was positive in all 9 cases, which yielded sufficient extracted RNA. Five- and 10-year survival rates were 75% and 56%, respectively. BCOR-CCNB3 sarcomas located in axial skeleton and soft tissues showed a significantly shorter survival. The Ewing sarcoma overall survival was not statistically different, although there was a trend for longer survival of patients with BCOR-CCNB3 sarcomas in the extremities. In conclusion, this study provides a detailed description of the histologic spectrum, immunohistochemical features, and clinical characteristic of BCOR-CCNB3 sarcoma justifying distinction from Ewing sarcoma with its typical EWS/FUS-ETS translocations. Ideally immunohistochemistry is used in combination with reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for definitive diagnosis.

Micci F, Gorunova L, Gatius S, et al.
MEAF6/PHF1 is a recurrent gene fusion in endometrial stromal sarcoma.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 347(1):75-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The chimeric transcripts described in endometrial stromal sarcomas (ESS) are JAZF1/SUZ12, YWHAE/FAM22, ZC3H7/BCOR, MBTD1/CXorf67, and recombinations of PHF1 with JAZF1, EPC1, and MEAF6. The MEAF6/PHF1 fusion had hitherto been identified in only one tumor. We present two more ESS with MEAF6/PHF1 detected by transcriptome sequencing (case 1) and RT-PCR (case 2), proving that this fusion is recurrent in ESS. The transcript of both cases was an in-frame fusion between exon 5 of MEAF6 and exon 2 of PHF1. Both genes are involved in epigenetic modification, and this may well be their main pathogenetic theme also in ESS tumorigenesis.

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