Atypical lipomatous tumours/well-differentiated liposarcomas and dedifferentiated liposarcomas are characterized by 12q13-15 region amplification. In contrast, this molecular event has not been reported in benign lipomas. Within the 12q13-15 chromosomal region, the MDM2, SAS, HMGA2, and CDK4 genes are the most frequent targets of amplification. A series of lipomas (36 cases) and liposarcomas (48 cases) was analysed for MDM2 and CDK4 gene amplification by real-time PCR. MDM2 and CDK4 gene amplification was detected in 2.8% and 5.6% of lipomas and 98.2% and 82.4% of liposarcomas, respectively. Moreover, co-amplification of the two genes as well as a higher-level amplification was observed more frequently in dedifferentiated liposarcomas than in atypical lipomatous tumours/well-differentiated liposarcomas. Real-time PCR proved to be a fast and reliable method to characterize lipomas and liposarcomas by quantification of MDM2 and CDK4 gene amplification. It is applicable to paraffin wax-embedded tissues and could be useful when histological diagnosis is difficult.
Copyright 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.