Diagnosis and management of tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) fusion sarcomas: expert recommendations from the World Sarcoma Network

Ann Oncol. 2020 Nov;31(11):1506-1517. doi: 10.1016/j.annonc.2020.08.2232. Epub 2020 Sep 3.


Sarcomas are a heterogeneous group of malignancies with mesenchymal lineage differentiation. The discovery of neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase (NTRK) gene fusions as tissue-agnostic oncogenic drivers has led to new personalized therapies for a subset of patients with sarcoma in the form of tropomyosin receptor kinase (TRK) inhibitors. NTRK gene rearrangements and fusion transcripts can be detected with different molecular pathology techniques, while TRK protein expression can be demonstrated with immunohistochemistry. The rarity and diagnostic complexity of NTRK gene fusions raise a number of questions and challenges for clinicians. To address these challenges, the World Sarcoma Network convened two meetings of expert adult oncologists and pathologists and subsequently developed this article to provide practical guidance on the management of patients with sarcoma harboring NTRK gene fusions. We propose a diagnostic strategy that considers disease stage and histologic and molecular subtypes to facilitate routine testing for TRK expression and subsequent testing for NTRK gene fusions.

Keywords: entrectinib; larotrectinib; neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase; sarcoma; tropomyosin receptor kinase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Gene Fusion
  • Humans
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion / genetics
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Receptor, trkA / genetics
  • Sarcoma* / diagnosis
  • Sarcoma* / drug therapy
  • Sarcoma* / genetics
  • Tropomyosin*


  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Tropomyosin
  • Receptor, trkA