Oncogene alterations in endometrial carcinosarcomas

Michele Biscuola, Koen Van de Vijver, Maria Angeles Castilla, Laura Romero-Perez, Maria Angeles Lopez-Garcia, Juan Diaz-Martin, Xavier Matias-Guiu, Esther Oliva, Jose Palacios Calvo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Endometrial carcinosarcomas are aggressive neoplasias composed of high-grade carcinomatous and sarcomatous elements. The pathogenesis and specific genetic alterations underlying these tumors are still not well known. We analyzed alterations in oncogenes involved in the pathogenesis of endometrial carcinomas that might represent predictive markers for specific therapies. Immunohistochemistry for HER2 (tyrosine kinase-type cell surface receptor HER2) and c-KIT (tyrosine-protein kinase Kit) and fluorescence in situ hybridization for EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) and ALK (anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosine kinase) were carried out for 76 endometrial carcinosarcoma samples on sequential tissue microarray sections. Analysis of 238 mutations across 19 common oncogenes was performed on 34 samples using the Sequenom OncoCarta Panel (Sequenom, Hamburg, Germany). We observed EGFR, HER2, and c-KIT expression in 71%, 1.5%, and 2.7% of tumors, respectively. EGFR amplification was detected in 11 of 76 endometrial carcinosarcomas (14.5%). Four samples showed both amplification and aneuploidy (5.2%). ALK amplification together with chromosome 2 polysomy was found in 1.3% of endometrial carcinosarcomas. In total, 23 mutations in 9 different oncogenes were detected in 15 (44.1%) of 34 endometrial carcinosarcomas. Five endometrial carcinosarcomas (14.7%) had 2 or more mutations. Eleven tumors (32.3%) had mutations affecting the PI3K (phosphoinositide-3-kinase)/AKT (v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog 1) (6 mutations in PIK3CA (PI3K catalytic alpha polypeptide) and 1 in AKT) and/or RAS/BRAF (serine/threonine-protein kinase B-raf) pathway (3 KRAS [kirsten RAS oncogene homolog], 2 NRAS [neuroblastoma RAS viral oncogene homolog], and 1 BRAF). Mutations in PDGFRA (platelet-derived growth factor receptor, alpha polypeptide) and/or KIT were found in 5 endometrial carcinosarcomas (14.7%). Finally, we found mutations in MET (met proto-oncogene [hepatocyte growth factor receptor]) in 2 tumors (5.9%) and in EGFR in one (2.9%). Our study evidences mutations in oncogenes in endometrial carcinosarcomas that are targets or modulators of response to specific therapies in other human cancers, with PI3K/AKT being the most frequently altered pathway.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)852-859
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Endometrial carcinosarcomas
  • Oncogenes
  • Predictive markers


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