The use of cytogenetics has led to significant improvement in the diagnoses and classification of sarcomas. Many of the major sarcomas have been found to have characteristic tumor-specific chromosomal translocations that are currently used in the diagnosis of these tumors. In the past year, a subset of Ewing's family of tumors and myxoid liposarcomas, which lack one of the characteristic translocations, were found to carry related translocations. New technologies such as spectral karyotyping will likely increase our ability to identify additional tumor-specific translocations. The emergence of genetic alterations as prognostic factors, as illustrated by Ewing's family of tumors, osteosarcoma, and p53 expression in soft tissue sarcomas in general, is discussed. The review concludes with laboratory applications derived from either tumor cytogenetic or gene function abnormalities that are related to tumor-specific translocations. It is anticipated that advances in diagnosis, prognosis, and modeling will translate into future therapeutic advances.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research