Embryonal tumor with abundant neuropil and true rosettes: Morphological, immunohistochemical, ultrastructural and molecular study of a case showing features of medulloepithelioma and areas of mesenchymal and epithelial differentiation
Embryonal tumors are a group of malignant neoplasms that most commonly affect the pediatric population. Embryonal tumor with abundant neuropil and true rosettes is a recently recognized rare tumor. It is composed of neurocytes and undifferentiated neuroepithelial cells arranged in clusters, cords and several types of rosettes in a prominent neuropil-rich background. We describe a new case of this tumor. The patient, a 24-month-old female infant, was referred to the Meyer Children's Hospital with a history of right brachio-crural deficit associated with occasional episodes of headache and vomiting. Computed tomography scan and MRI revealed a large bihemispheric mass. The patient underwent two consecutive surgeries. The resultant surgical resection of the tumor was macroscopically complete. The postoperative period was uneventful. On light microscopy the tumor showed a composite morphology: embryonal tumor with abundant neuropil and true rosettes (specimen from the first surgery); medulloepithelioma with mesenchymal and epithelial areas (specimen from the second surgery). The immunohistochemistry evidenced the heterogeneous (neuronal, mesenchymal and epithelial) immunoprofile of tumoral cells. By real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), the PTEN gene expression in the tumor was lower than in the five non-neoplastic brain tissues used as control. Mutation analysis did not show any variation in INI-1 and PTEN sequence while P53 analysis showed the presence of homozygote P72R variation. Fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis showed polysomy of chromosome 2 while amplification of N-MYC was not detected. Owing to the rarity of embryonal tumor with abundant neuropil and true rosettes, each new case should be recorded to produce a better clinical, pathological and molecular characterization of this lesion.
"Indeed, Korshunov et al.  reported C19MC amplification in 37/40 tumors with a histologic diagnosis of ETANTR or EPB. In addition, C19MC amplification has been reported in tumors with mixed features of ETANTR and MEP [2, 16]. Subsequent studies demonstrated that up-regulation of the RNA-binding pluripotency gene, LIN28 [11, 17], correlated closely with C19MC amplification thus suggesting that LIN28 may represent an attractive immuno-diagnostic marker for this distinct molecular sub-group of cerebral CNS-PNETs. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amplification of the C19MC oncogenic miRNA cluster and high LIN28 expression has been linked to a distinctly aggressive group of cerebral CNS-PNETs (group 1 CNS-PNETs) arising in young children. In this study, we sought to evaluate the diagnostic specificity of C19MC and LIN28, and the clinical and biological spectra of C19MC amplified and/or LIN28+ CNS-PNETs. We interrogated 450 pediatric brain tumors using FISH and IHC analyses and demonstrate that C19MC alteration is restricted to a sub-group of CNS-PNETs with high LIN28 expression; however, LIN28 immunopositivity was not exclusive to CNS-PNETs but was also detected in a proportion of other malignant pediatric brain tumors including rhabdoid brain tumors and malignant gliomas. C19MC amplified/LIN28+ group 1 CNS-PNETs arose predominantly in children <4 years old; a majority arose in the cerebrum but 24 % (13/54) of tumors had extra-cerebral origins. Notably, group 1 CNS-PNETs encompassed several histologic classes including embryonal tumor with abundant neuropil and true rosettes (ETANTR), medulloepithelioma, ependymoblastoma and CNS-PNETs with variable differentiation. Strikingly, gene expression and methylation profiling analyses revealed a common molecular signature enriched for primitive neural features, high LIN28/LIN28B and DNMT3B expression for all group 1 CNS-PNETs regardless of location or tumor histology. Our collective findings suggest that current known histologic categories of CNS-PNETs which include ETANTRs, medulloepitheliomas, ependymoblastomas in various CNS locations, comprise a common molecular and diagnostic entity and identify inhibitors of the LIN28/let7/PI3K/mTOR axis and DNMT3B as promising therapeutics for this distinct histogenetic entity.
"Both EBL and ETANTR include the so-called “ependymoblastic rosettes” harboring well-formed central round or slit-like lumina in the absence of an outer membrane [4, 6, 11, 12, 14, 18]. MEPL is histologically characterized by papillary and tubular structures surrounded by an external limiting membrane, reminiscent of the developing neural tube [4, 18]. These structures are sometimes also referred to as “medulloepithelial” rosettes. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three histological variants are known within the family of embryonal rosette-forming neuroepithelial brain tumors. These include embryonal tumor with abundant neuropil and true rosettes (ETANTR), ependymoblastoma (EBL), and medulloepithelioma (MEPL). In this study, we performed a comprehensive clinical, pathological, and molecular analysis of 97 cases of these rare brain neoplasms, including genome-wide DNA methylation and copy number profiling of 41 tumors. We identified uniform molecular signatures in all tumors irrespective of histological patterns, indicating that ETANTR, EBL, and MEPL comprise a single biological entity. As such, future WHO classification schemes should consider lumping these variants into a single diagnostic category, such as embryonal tumor with multilayered rosettes (ETMR). We recommend combined LIN28A immunohistochemistry and FISH analysis of the 19q13.42 locus for molecular diagnosis of this tumor category. Recognition of this distinct pediatric brain tumor entity based on the fact that the three histological variants are molecularly and clinically uniform will help to distinguish ETMR from other embryonal CNS tumors and to better understand the biology of these highly aggressive and therapy-resistant pediatric CNS malignancies, possibly leading to alternate treatment strategies.
"In contrast to ETANTR, medulloepitheliomas do not usually contain neuropil-rich areas. The highly proliferative primitive strands of neuroepithelium characteristic of medulloepithelioma have been described in only a single case of ETANTR . The case described here also bears a single tiny focus of stratified primitive neuroepithelium, indicating divergent differentiation potential of the primitive neuroectodermal cells in ETANTR. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Embryonal tumor with abundant neuropil and true rosettes (ETANTR) is a rare variant of central nervous system primitive neuroectodermal tumor occurring exclusively in the pediatric population. We report a unique case of a 6-month male child presenting with a large intraventricular lesion. Histological examination revealed a tumor composed of primitive neuroectodermal cells in dense aggregates, interspersed by hypocellular areas containing small round cells widely dispersed in neuropil-like material. Few ependymal and occasional ependymoblastic rosettes were appreciated. Focal melanotic neuroepithelium recapitulating retinal differentiation was also seen. Documentation of such cases may expand the neuroectodermal differentiation spectrum of ETANTR.
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