Targeted genomic sequencing of follicular dendritic cell sarcoma reveals recurrent alterations in NF-κB regulatory genes

Mod Pathol. 2016 Jan;29(1):67-74. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2015.130. Epub 2015 Nov 13.


Follicular dendritic cell sarcoma is a rare mesenchymal neoplasm with a variable and unpredictable clinical course. The genetic alterations that drive tumorigenesis in follicular dendritic cell sarcoma are largely unknown. One recent study performed BRAF sequencing and found V600E mutations in 5 of 27 (19%) cases. No other recurrent genetic alterations have been reported. The aim of the present study was to identify somatic alterations in follicular dendritic cell sarcoma by targeted sequencing of a panel of 309 known cancer-associated genes. DNA was isolated from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue from 13 cases of follicular dendritic cell sarcoma and submitted for hybrid capture-based enrichment and massively parallel sequencing with the Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. Recurrent loss-of-function alterations were observed in tumor suppressor genes involved in the negative regulation of NF-κB activation (5 of 13 cases, 38%) and cell cycle progression (4 of 13 cases, 31%). Loss-of-function alterations in the NF-κB regulatory pathway included three cases with frameshift mutations in NFKBIA and two cases with bi-allelic loss of CYLD. Both cases with CYLD loss were metastases and carried concurrent alterations in at least one cell cycle regulatory gene. Alterations in cell cycle regulatory genes included two cases with bi-allelic loss of CDKN2A, one case with bi-allelic loss of RB1, and one case with a nonsense mutation in RB1. Last, focal copy-number gain of chromosome 9p24 including the genes CD274 (PD-L1) and PDCD1LG2 (PD-L2) was noted in three cases, which represents a well-described mechanism of immune evasion in cancer. These findings provide the first insight into the unique genomic landscape of follicular dendritic cell sarcoma and suggest shared mechanisms of tumorigenesis with a subset of other tumor types, notably B-cell lymphomas.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinogenesis / genetics*
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16 / genetics*
  • Dendritic Cell Sarcoma, Follicular / genetics*
  • Dendritic Cell Sarcoma, Follicular / pathology
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Humans
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • NF-kappa B / genetics*
  • NF-kappa B p52 Subunit / genetics*


  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p16
  • NF-kappa B
  • NF-kappa B p52 Subunit
  • NFKB2 protein, human