Primary cardiac undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma is associated with TP53 mutation during lack of MDM2 amplification, and targeted sequencing analysis reveals potentially actionable targets

Hum Pathol. 2022 May:123:113-122. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2022.02.006. Epub 2022 Feb 15.


Cardiac undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS) is a rare malignancy. Several studies have revealed frequent MDM2, CDK4, PDFGRA, and KIT amplifications and CDKN2A and CDKN2B deletions. Cases lacking the above copy number alterations may harbor alternative driver mutations; however, little is known about such occurrences. This study was conducted to gain further insights into the molecular features of cardiac UPS using targeted sequencing of 560 cancer-related genes, and fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry of MDM2, CDK4, CDKN2A, TP53, and RB1 in 9 cardiac UPS cases. TP53 mutation or CDKN2A deletion was found in cases lacking MDM2 amplification. Further, p53 overexpression was detected in the case with TP53 mutation, while p16 expression was completely lost in the case with CDKN2A homozygous deletion. p16 overexpression was found in cases with MDM2 and CDK4 amplification but without CDKN2A deletion. Immunohistochemistry of MDM2, CDK4, p53, and p16 is expected to be preliminarily used for gene status analysis. As cardiac UPS and intimal sarcomas are merging into a single spectrum, mutation data for 3 cardiac UPS and 9 intimal sarcomas from the literature, as well as data for 5 cardiac UPS in our study were evaluated, and known recurrently mutated cancer driver genes, including PDGFRB, TP53, ALK, PTCH1, RET, ERBB4, JAK3, GATA1, PIK3CG, and RARA, were identified. Several new potentially actionable mutations, including those in RARA, ALK, PTCH1, RET, ROS1, ABL1, and MET, were also found. These findings improve the molecular understanding of this rare malignancy and are expected to provide a basis for developing precision therapeutics for cardiac UPS and intimal sarcomas.

Keywords: CDKN2A; Fluorescence in situ hybridization; Heart; Next generation sequencing; TP53; Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Heart Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Heart Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Histiocytoma, Malignant Fibrous* / genetics
  • Homozygote
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2 / genetics
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Sarcoma* / genetics
  • Sarcoma* / pathology
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • TP53 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • MDM2 protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mdm2
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases