Primary Thyroid Gland Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma

Head Neck Pathol. 2020 Sep;14(3):701-706. doi: 10.1007/s12105-019-01099-x. Epub 2019 Nov 28.


Alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS) is a rare soft tissue tumor of unknown histogenesis generally characterized by the der(17)t(X;17)(p11.2;q25) translocation which results in the ASPSCR1-TFE3 gene fusion. Primary ASPS of the thyroid gland has not yet been reported. During oncology follow-up for breast cancer, a pulmonary nodule and thyroid gland mass were identified in a 71-year-old Korean male. Thyroid ultrasound showed a 5.7 cm left thyroid gland mass. After several fine needle aspirations, a thyroid gland lobectomy was performed after documenting only non-caseating granulomatous inflammation in a biopsy of the lung nodule. A 7.6 cm bulging nodular thyroid gland mass was identified, showing significant destructive invasion. Alveolar nests of large polygonal, eosinophilic, granular neoplastic cells were separated by vascularized stroma. Colloid was absent. Tumor necrosis and increased mitoses were identified. The neoplastic cells were positive with TFE3 and CD68, but negative with pancytokeratin, thyroglobulin, TTF-1, napsin-A, calcitonin, PAX8, CAIX, S100 protein, HMB45, SMA, and desmin. FISH confirmed a TFE3 gene rearrangement. The differential includes several primary thyroid gland epithelial neoplasms, paraganglioma, PEComa, melanoma, crystal storage disease, and metastatic carcinomas, especially Xp11 translocation renal cell carcinoma. The patient has refused additional therapy, but is alive without tumor identified (primary or metastatic).

Keywords: Biopsy, fine-needle; Gene rearrangement; Humans; Sarcoma, alveolar soft part; Thyroid gland.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male
  • Gene Rearrangement / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / pathology
  • Sarcoma, Alveolar Soft Part / genetics
  • Sarcoma, Alveolar Soft Part / pathology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / genetics
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
  • TFE3 protein, human