N-myc gene amplification in rhabdomyosarcoma detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization: its correlation with histologic features

Mod Pathol. 1998 Dec;11(12):1222-7.


Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was applied to 15 alveolar rhabdomyosarcomas (A-RMSs) and 14 embryonal RMSs (E-RMSs) to detect N-myc (also called MYCN) oncogene amplification. The results were compared with histologic characteristics and clinical factors. The number of surviving patients in each subtype was 5 of 15 with A-RMS and 5 of 14 with E-RMS. N-myc amplification was detected in 9 of the 15 A-RMSs but in none of the 14 E-RMSs. Tumor cells exhibiting N-myc amplification were identified only in the alveolar area in two A-RMSs, and they demonstrated a histologic mixture of alveolar and embryonal patterns. The remaining seven cases with an amplified N-myc showed a conventional alveolar pattern. Among the 15 A-RMSs, the survival rate of patients with tumors showing nonamplified N-myc and amplified N-myc oncogene was 4 (66%) of 6 and 1(11%) of 9, respectively (P < .05). No significant difference was observed between the other clinical findings (age, primary sites, clinical stages) of the N-myc-amplified and nonamplified tumors. Therefore, we concluded that the N-myc gene amplification, which is characteristic of a particular subtype of A-RMS, might be useful as a prognostic factor for an unfavorable outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gene Amplification*
  • Genes, myc / genetics*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, Alveolar / genetics*
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, Alveolar / mortality
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, Alveolar / pathology*
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, Embryonal / genetics*
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, Embryonal / mortality
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, Embryonal / pathology*
  • Survival Rate