Frequent expression of bcl-2 protein in solitary fibrous tumors

Jpn J Clin Oncol. 1998 Feb;28(2):86-91. doi: 10.1093/jjco/28.2.86.


The distinction of solitary fibrous tumors from histologically similar neoplasms is often difficult because they rarely occur at a variety of extrapleural sites. CD34 immunoreactivity has recently been recognized to be an adjunct for the diagnosis of solitary fibrous tumors. However, it is now known that CD34 staining is not entirely specific for this entity. We evaluated 23 solitary fibrous tumors and 54 other spindle cell tumors often considered in the differential diagnosis for immunoreactivity using monoclonal antibodies directed against bcl-2 protein, which protects cells from apoptosis and CD34. The patients with solitary fibrous tumors comprised 11 men and 12 women, ranging in age from 35 to 85 years (mean, 57.6 years). Fourteen tumors arose in the pleura, four in the retroperitoneum, three in the superficial soft tissue and one each in the mediastinum and uterine cervix. Nineteen of 23 solitary fibrous tumors (83%), irrespective of tumor site, demonstrated diffuse cytoplasmic staining for bcl-2 protein. bcl-2 immunoreactivity was also observed in five of seven neurofibromas (71%), eight of 10 synovial sarcomas (80%) and one of three spindle cell lipomas (33%). CD34 immunoreactivity was present in all but one solitary fibrous tumor (96%), seven of seven neurofibromas (100%), three of three spindle cell lipomas (100%), five of five dermatofibrosarcomas (100%), three of three hemangiopericytomas (100%) and two of seven malignant fibrous histiocytomas (29%). To date, most of the pleural and extrapleural cases have not shown aggressive features. We suggest that bcl-2 protein can be used together with CD34 in the diagnosis of solitary fibrous tumor to distinguish this entity from other spindle cell neoplasms.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antigens, CD34 / metabolism
  • Carcinoma / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lipoma / diagnosis
  • Lipoma / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Fibrous Tissue / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms, Fibrous Tissue / pathology
  • Pleural Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / pathology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism*
  • Retroperitoneal Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Retroperitoneal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antigens, CD34
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2