Molecular classification of synovial sarcomas, leiomyosarcomas and malignant fibrous histiocytomas by gene expression profiling

Br J Cancer. 2003 Feb 24;88(4):510-5. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6600766.


In this study, we have used genome-wide expression profiling to categorise synovial sarcomas, leiomyosarcomas and malignant fibrous histiocytomas (MFHs). Following hierarchical clustering analysis of the expression data, the best match between tumour clusters and conventional diagnosis was observed for synovial sarcomas. Eight of nine synovial sarcomas examined formed a cluster that was characterised by higher expression of a set of 48 genes. In contrast, sarcomas conventionally classified as leiomyosarcomas and MFHs did not match the clusters defined by hierarchical clustering analysis. One major cluster contained a mixture of both leiomyosarcomas and MFHs and was defined by the lower expression of a set of 202 genes. A cluster containing a subgroup of MFHs was also detected. These results may have implications for the classification of soft tissue sarcomas, and are consistent with the view that sarcomas conventionally defined as MFHs do not represent a separate diagnostic category.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cluster Analysis
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Histiocytoma, Benign Fibrous / classification
  • Histiocytoma, Benign Fibrous / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Leiomyosarcoma / classification
  • Leiomyosarcoma / genetics*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Sarcoma, Synovial / classification
  • Sarcoma, Synovial / genetics*


  • RNA, Messenger