Background: Malignant fibrous histiocytomas (MFHs), or undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcomas, are in general high-grade tumours with extensive chromosomal aberrations. In order to identify recurrent chromosomal regions of gain and loss, as well as novel gene targets of potential importance for MFH development and/or progression, we have analysed DNA copy number changes in 33 MFHs using microarray-based comparative genomic hybridisation (array CGH).
Principal findings: In general, the tumours showed numerous gains and losses of large chromosomal regions. The most frequent minimal recurrent regions of gain were 1p33-p32.3, 1p31.3-p31.2 and 1p21.3 (all gained in 58% of the samples), as well as 1q21.2-q21.3 and 20q13.2 (both 55%). The most frequent minimal recurrent regions of loss were 10q25.3-q26.11, 13q13.3-q14.2 and 13q14.3-q21.1 (all lost in 64% of the samples), as well as 2q36.3-q37.2 (61%), 1q41 (55%) and 16q12.1-q12.2 (52%). Statistical analyses revealed that gain of 1p33-p32.3 and 1p21.3 was significantly associated with better patient survival (P = 0.021 and 0.046, respectively). Comparison with similar array CGH data from 44 leiomyosarcomas identified seven chromosomal regions; 1p36.32-p35.2, 1p21.3-p21.1, 1q32.1-q42.13, 2q14.1-q22.2, 4q33-q34.3, 6p25.1-p21.32 and 7p22.3-p13, which were significantly different in copy number between the MFHs and leiomyosarcomas.
Conclusions: A number of recurrent regions of gain and loss have been identified, some of which were associated with better patient survival. Several specific chromosomal regions with significant differences in copy number between MFHs and leiomyosarcomas were identified, and these aberrations may be used as additional tools for the differential diagnosis of MFHs and leiomyosarcomas.