Infantile NTRK-associated Mesenchymal Tumors

Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2018 Jan-Feb;21(1):68-78. doi: 10.1177/1093526617712639. Epub 2017 Jul 6.


Pediatric fibroblastic/myofibroblastic lesions are a relatively common group of tumors with varying morphologies, for which the molecular mechanisms are becoming increasingly well characterized. Congenital infantile fibrosarcoma (CIFS), perhaps the most well studied of these lesions is characterized by a recurrent ETV6-NTRK3 gene fusion. However, a notable subset of locally aggressive congenital/infantile soft tissue lesions with similar morphologic features to CIFS, have not to-date, shown evidence of any canonical molecular aberration. We describe 6 patients with mesenchymal tumors composed of infiltrative fibroblastic/myofibroblastic tumor cells and showing a morphologic spectrum of features much analogous to that previously described in CIFS but without ETV6 fusion transcripts. These tumors lacked a uniform immunoprofile, but showed variable expression of CD34, S100, smooth muscle actin, and CD30. All patients first developed a mass in infancy (≤2 months of age). Using next-generation DNA sequencing, TMP3-NTRK1 fusions were identified in 4 cases, an LMNA-NTRK1 fusion in one case, and a variant EML4-NTRK3 fusion in one case. Similar to infantile fibrosarcoma, these tumors were locally aggressive (with local recurrences if incompletely excised) and rarely metastasized (lung metastases in one patient). Proper identification of these tumors including investigation for NTRK family gene rearrangements is essential for diagnostic accuracy, as well as for clinical management decisions. Given the morbidity associated with radical resection of large soft tissue tumors, children with unresectable, recurrent, and/or metastatic disease may benefit from treatment with NTRK targeted therapies.

Keywords: NTRK1; NTRK3; TRK; fibrosarcoma; infantile; soft tissue tumor.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Female
  • Fibrosarcoma / diagnosis
  • Fibrosarcoma / genetics*
  • Fibrosarcoma / pathology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Oncogene Fusion*
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Receptor, trkA / genetics*
  • Receptor, trkC / genetics*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • ETV6-NTRK3 fusion protein, human
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • Receptor, trkA
  • Receptor, trkC