Aims To study the clinicopathological and molecular features of benign notochordal cell tumours (BNCTs) and their differential diagnosis from chordoma.
Methods 13 cases of BNCT were investigated. The genome-wide copy number imbalances were performed using Oncoscan CNV array in three cases and fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) detection of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)/chromosome 7 enumeration probe (CEP7), LSI1p36/1q21, LSI19p13/19q13, CEP3/CEP12 and Telvysion 6 P was performed in 13 cases.
Results All 13 BNCTs were symptomatic and eight cases showed a close relationship with the bones of the skull base. The important histological character for differential diagnosis with chordoma was the absence of extracellular matrix and eosinophil cells and the presence of vacuoles in most tumour cells. Immunohistochemical staining of AE1/AE3, vimentin, epithelial membrane antigen, S-100 and brachyury (100% each) were positive in BNCTs. Gain of chromosome 7 occurred in 10 cases (76.9%), gain of 1p in four (30.8%), gain of 1q in five (38.5%), gain of 19p and 19q in five (38.5%), gain of chromosome 12 in 11 cases (84.6%), gain of 6p in eight (61.5%) and gain of chromosome 3 in four cases (30.8%).
Conclusions In contrast to chordoma, chromosome gain or normal copy number was more common while chromosome loss was infrequent in BNCTs. This may be a differential diagnosis clue for chordoma and may be an important characteristic in the progression of notochordal cell tumours.
- bone tumour pathology
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Handling editor Runjan Chetty.
Contributors JD: conceptual development of the study, performed the research, collected and analysed the data, wrote the paper. LX: assisted with data collection. YC, ZXL and YJS: performed the research. GLL: conceptual development of the study, performed research, analysed the data, wrote and reviewed the paper.
Funding Funding for this study was provided by a grant (2013BAI09B03) from the National Key Technology Research and Development Program of the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and BIBD-PXM2013_014226_07_000084 Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders and Youth Foundation of Beijing Neurosurgical Institute 2016-04.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Next of kin consent obtained.
Ethics approval The Ethics Committee of Beijing Tiantan Hospital.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.