Methods: Fifty-six freshly frozen human sarcomas were studied for expression of disialogangliosides by avidin-biotin immunohistochemical staining with purified monoclonal antibodies (MoAb) 3F8 (antidisialoganglioside GD2) and R24 (antidisialoganglioside GD3).
Results: Ninety-three percent of the tumors tested by the immunohistochemical staining expressed GD2 and 88% expressed GD3. The intensity of expression varied among sarcomas of different histologic types. Liposarcoma, fibrosarcoma, malignant fibrous histiocytoma, leiomyosarcoma, and spindle cell sarcoma reacted strongly with 3F8 and R24. Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma and synovial sarcoma demonstrated substantially weaker staining by either MoAb. Weakly reactive or nonreactive tumors were, in general, high-grade or metastatic sarcomas. Ganglioside extraction and thin-layer chromatography/immunothin-layer chromatography of two liposarcomas confirmed the identities of these gangliosides.
Conclusions: GD2 and GD3 may indicate sites for MoAb-targeted imaging and therapy for sarcomas. The association of a diminished stainability by 3F8 and R24 with aggressive sarcomas may indicate prognostic significance.